Robotics: Science and Systems I

Dynamic Task Assignment in Robot Swarms

James McLurkin, Daniel Yamins

Abstract: A large group of robots will often be partitioned into subgroups, each subgroup performing a different task. This paper presents four distributed algorithms for assigning swarms of homogenous robots to subgroups to meet a specified global task distribution. Algorithm Random-Choice selects tasks randomly, but runs in constant time. Algorithm Extreme-Comm compiles a complete inventory of all the robots on every robot, runs quickly, but uses a great deal of communication. The Card- Dealer’s algorithm assigns tasks to individual robots sequentially, using minimal communications but a great deal of time. The Tree- Recolor algorithm is a compromise between Extreme-Comm and Card-Dealer’s, balancing communications use and running time. The three deterministic algorithms drive the system towards the desired assignment of subtasks with high accuracy.We implement the algorithms on a group of 25 iRobot SwarmBots, and collect and analyze performance data.



    AUTHOR    = {James McLurkin and Daniel Yamins},
    TITLE     = {Dynamic Task Assignment in Robot Swarms},
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems},
    YEAR      = {2005},
    ADDRESS   = {Cambridge, USA},
    MONTH     = {June},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2005.I.018}