Bio-inspired Multi-robot Autonomy

Increasingly, high value industrial markets are driving trends for improved functionality and resilience from resident autonomous systems. This led to an increase in multi-robot fleets that aim to leverage the complementary attributes of the diverse platforms. In this paper we introduce a novel bio-inspired Symbiotic System of Systems Approach (SSOSA) for designing the operational governance of a multi-robot fleet consisting of ground-based quadruped and wheeled platforms. SSOSA couples the MR-fleet to the resident infrastructure monitoring systems into one collaborative digital commons. The hyper visibility of the integrated distributed systems, achieved through a latency bidirectional communication network, supports collaboration, coordination and corroboration (3C) across the integrated systems. In our experiment, we demonstrate how an operator can activate a pre-determined autonomous mission and utilize SSOSA to overcome intrinsic and external risks to the autonomous missions. We demonstrate how resilience can be enhanced by local collaboration between SPOT and Husky wherein we detect a replacement battery, and utilize the manipulator arm of SPOT to support a Clearpath Husky A200 wheeled robotic platform. This allows for increased resilience of an autonomous mission as robots can collaborate to ensure the battery state of the Husky robot. Overall, these initial results demonstrate the value of a SSOSA approach in addressing a key operational barrier to scalable autonomy, the resilience.


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