Control ad Libitum: An Approach to Real-Time Construction of Control Systems for Unstructured Robotic Teams

A. Martin and M.R. Emami (Canada)


Robot teams, Robot design and architecture, Distributed control


Developers of mobile robot teams face many challenges that will only continue to grow with the complexity of their applications. As the applications evolve it will become impractical to design custom hardware for each problem and begin each control system from scratch. A new approach to control system design is necessary to overcome these challenges. Control ad libitum is an approach that forms a division between the functionality of the control system and specific hardware components, allowing the system to adapt to changing hardware and simplifying the process of adding functionality to the control system. The philosophy of control ad libitum is presented here along with the “Host, Avatar, Agent” (HAA) control architecture designed following this approach. The HAA architecture provides a flexible structure using a distributed processing network that allows modular and incremental construction of control systems. Current progress on an implementation of the HAA architecture for exploration, mapping, and object collection applications shows promising merit from both design and functionality perspectives.

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