Robotics: Science and Systems XVI

Ergodic Specifications for Flexible Swarm Control: From User Commands to Persistent Adaptation

Ahalya Prabhakar, Ian Abraham, Annalisa Taylor, Millicent Schlafly, Katarina Popovic, Giovani Diniz, Brendan Teich, Borislava Simidchieva, Shane Clark, Todd Murphey


This paper presents a formulation for swarm control and high-level task planning that is dynamically responsive to user commands and adaptable to environmental changes. We design an end-to-end pipeline from a tactile tablet interface for user commands to onboard control of robotic agents based on decentralized ergodic coverage. Our approach demonstrates reliable and dynamic control of a swarm collective through the use of ergodic specifications for planning and executing agent trajectories as well as responding to user and external inputs. We validate our approach in a virtual reality simulation environment and in real-world experiments at the DARPA OFFSET Urban Swarm Challenge FX3 field tests with a robotic swarm where user-based control of the swarm and mission-based tasks require a dynamic and flexible response to changing conditions and objectives in real-time.



    AUTHOR    = {Ahalya Prabhakar AND Ian Abraham AND Annalisa Taylor AND Millicent Schlafly AND Katarina Popovic AND Giovani Diniz AND Brendan Teich AND Borislava Simidchieva AND Shane Clark AND Todd Murphey}, 
    TITLE     = {{Ergodic Specifications for Flexible Swarm Control: From User Commands to Persistent Adaptation}}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2020}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Corvalis, Oregon, USA}, 
    MONTH     = {July}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2020.XVI.067}