An Autonomous Agent System to Simulate a Set of Robots Exploring a Labyrinth

Nourredine Bensiad and Philippe Mathieu

This work presents an application of the agent technology to the simulation in the robotic domain. A group of robots cooperate with each other to simulate a large surface which has a labyrinth structure. A robot is represented as a specialist agent which has for task to recognize different paths characterizing this surface. The application is supported by a hybrid and hierarchical architecture model called MAGIQUE. The interactions between robots are managed by supervisor agents which have a global vision of the labyrinth. The explored parts of the labyrinth are hold at a blackboard structure managed by the supervisor. Agents can communicate either directly by message-passing or indirectly via their supervisor. The paper begins by describing the application and presents different constraints related to the move of the robots. It discusses how the application is implemented in a distributed programming environment and presents also the practical constraints faced in the instantiation of the model. The application addresses also an issue related to the load balancing between robots. Finally, it concludes by investigating a set of issues to explore.

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