A Novel Foraging Technique for Swarm Robots 🗓

— Central place foraging

Thousand Oaks Map

IEEE Buenaventura Section
Meeting Date: May 8, 2019
Time: 6:30 PM Networking & Food; 7:00 PM Presentation
Speaker: Nick Stern of California State University Channel Islands
Location: Thousand Oaks
Cost: none
RSVP: requested, through website
Event Details: IEEE vTools

Summary: Central place foraging is a problem domain which consists of finding and delivering resources situated throughout an unknown environment to a singular collection depot. This domain has tremendous applications including harvesting, toxic waste clean up, and fuel gathering for interplanetary missions. Foraging behaviors are the primary benchmark application of swarm robotics, which is the study of the complex group behavior that emerges from the local interactions of many simple individuals. A common issue within central place foraging approaches is inter-robot interference, a significant detractor from scalable group performance. To address this problem we propose a novel technique for central place foraging, the Multimodal approach. This technique separates a preliminary search phase from collection behavior, locating all of the resources within the environment before any are picked up, storing and sharing these locations amongst all of the agents. This information is then used by the collecting agents in order to select resources in areas in which there are no other agents, mitigating the effect of interference. The application of this approach to various simulated problem formulations resulted in a significant performance increase as compared to a baseline approach. This lends to our conclusion that a separation of search and collection can lead to the incorporation of more advanced routing techniques that further improve the performance of the foraging task.

Bio: Nick Stern is a Lecturer for Computer Science and Mechatronics at California State University Channel Islands. Nick currently teaches Software Engineering as well as Data Structures and Algorithms for Engineers, and also spends his time coaching more than a dozen senior Capstone projects. He works in a range of programming archetypes and tools, from high level frameworks for AWS and Android projects to low level Embedded and C systems. Nick has a Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science from CSUCI.