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Helping Robots Collaborate to Get the Job Done

By MIT News

May 17, 2021

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An algorithm developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, San Diego aims to foster cooperation between information-gathering robot teams.

The algorithm balances data collection and energy expenditure to avoid having robots perform maneuvers that waste energy to gain only a small amount of data.

Using the researchers' Distributed Local Search approach, each robot proposes a potential trajectory for itself as part of the team, and the algorithm accepts or rejects them based whether it will increase the likelihood of achieving the team's objective function.

A test involving a simulated team of 10 robots showed that the algorithm required more computation time, but guaranteed their mission would be completed successfully.

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