Multiple Agents from the Bottom Up: The Interaction Lab’s Robot Competition Effort

Barry Brian Werger, Miguel Schneider Fontan, Dani Goldberg, Greg Hornby, Maja Mataric, Sen Song

Our goal is to exploit the benefits of multi-agent systems so as to gain a super-linear increase in performance relative to that of a single robot. By this we mean that a team of n robots either performs a task more than n times "better" (depending on the task, faster, more thoroughly, more reliably) than a single robot could perform the task, or performs a task that a single robot simply cannot. We strive to build these systems from the bottom up using behavior-based principles of system organization such as subsumption and activation (Brooks 85). We are preparing entries for three events - Find Life on Mars, Vacuuming, and Hors-d'oeuvres serving - where the responsiveness and flexibility of this approach will enable our robots to organize themselves into efficient, effective, and entertaining teams.

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