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Volume 25 Issue 5/6 - Publication Date: 1 May/June 2006
Special Issue on the Ninth International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2004
 
Experiments with a Large Heterogeneous Mobile Robot Team: Exploration, Mapping, Deployment and Detection
 
A. Howard Robotics Research Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California, L. E. Parker Distributed Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of Tennessee, and G. S. Sukhatme Robotics Research Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California
 
We describe the design and experimental validation of a large heterogeneous mobile robot team built for the DARPA Software for Distributed Robotics (SDR) program. The core challenge for the SDR program was to develop a multi-robot system capable of carrying out a specific mission: to deploy a large number of robots into an unexplored building, map the building interior, detect and track intruders, and transmit all of the above information to a remote operator. To satisfy these requirements, we developed a heterogeneous robot team consisting of approximately 80 robots. We sketch the key technical elements of this team, focusing on the novel aspects, and present selected results from supervised experiments conducted in a 600 m2 indoor environment.
 
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