This paper discusses the use of a cooperative multiple robot system as applied to distributed tracking and sampling of a boundary edge. Within this system the boundary edge is partitioned into subsegments, each allocated to a particular robot such that workload is balanced across the robots. Also, to minimize the time between sampling local areas of the boundary edge, it may be desirable to minimize the difference between each robots progression (i.e. phase) along its allocated sub segment of the edge. The paper introduces a new distributed controller that handles both workload and phase balancing. Simulation results are used to illustrate the effectiveness of the controller in an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) under ice edge sampling application. Successful results from experimentation with three iRobot Creates are also presented.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cmclark/35/