Line and circle formation of distributed autonomous mobile robots with limited sensor range
Hutchins, Robert Gary
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In the literature, formation problems for idealized distributed autonomous mobile robots were studied. Idealized robots are represented by a dimensionless point, are able to instantaneously move in any direction and are equipped with perfect range sensors. In this thesis, line and circle formation problems of distributed mobile robots that are subjected to physical constraints are addressed. It is assumed that mobile robots have physical dimensions, and their motions are governed by physical laws. They are equipped with sonar and infrared sensors in which sensor ranges are limited. A new line algorithm based on least-square line fitting, a new circle algorithm, and a merge algorithm are presented. All the algorithms are developed with consideration of physical robots and realistic sensors, and are validated through extensive simulations. Formation problems for mobile robots with limited visibility are also studied. In this case, robots are assumed to be randomly distributed in a large rectangular field such that one robot may not see other robots. An algorithm is developed that makes each robot converge to the center of the field before executing a line or circle algorithm.
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