Flexible Teamwork in Behavior-Based Robots

Gal A. Kaminka, Inna Frenkel

A key challenge in deploying teams of robots in real-world applications is to automate the control of teamwork, such that the designer can focus on the taskwork. Existing teamwork architectures seeking to address this challenge are monolithic, in that they commit to interaction protocols at the architectural level, and do not allow the designer to mix and match protocols for a given task. We present BITE, a behavior-based teamwork architecture that automates collaboration in physical robots, in a distributed fashion. BITE separates task behaviors that control a robot’s interaction with its task, from interaction behaviors that control a robot’s interaction with its teammates. This distinction provides for flexibility and modularity in terms of the interactions used by teammates to collaborate effectively. It also allows BITE to synthesize and significantly extend existing teamwork architectures. BITE also incorporates key lessons learned in applying multi-agent teamwork architectures in physical robot teams. We present empirical results from experiments with teams of Sony AIBO robots executing BITE, and discuss the lessons learned.

Content Area: 1. Agents/Multiagent Systems

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 17. Robotics

Submitted: May 10, 2005


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