Multi-robot Systems

Principles of autonomous formation driving and stabilization into a desired shape of the group are designed within Multi-robot Systems group. Our research is focused on mobile robot coordination in environment with dynamic obstacles, on splitting and coupling of teams and on trajectory planning for the formations. From the application perspective, the research is aimed at road sweeping, particularly at airport snow shoveling and park pathways maintenance.


 

In addition, we investigate methods of coordination of heterogeneous teams (MAVs&UGVs) including autonomous take-off and landing. This research is focused on surveillance, where Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) is employed to survey areas inaccessible for UGV. The research conducted in this stream is closely coordinated with swarm robotics being investigated within Multi-robot Systems group. Our state-of-the-art approaches in research of multi-robot systems and description of developed methods can be found in papers chronologically listed below.

 

 

 

Contact:

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+420-22435-7634

 

Demos:

The aim of this work is to design the system for autonomous stabilization of a formation of multi-rotor helicopters for the cooperative filming in dark conditions. The leader-follower approach and the model predictive control on receding horizon are applied for this purpose. The formation consists of one multi-rotor helicopter carrying a camera and the arbitrary number of multi-rotors carrying light sources. The proposed system also deals with the collision avoidance and take into account other constraints to provide feasible trajectories and good quality of acquired videos or photos.

We present a system for autonomous pick-up and carry of the object by a pair of robotic helicopters. Part of the work is a gripper design, synchronization of predictive regulators~(MPC) and developing of trajectory planning method based on rapidly-exploring random trees. The proposed planning method ensures feasible solution in environments with narrow passages and minimizing some cost function. The algorithm is compared with few other algorithms based on RRT. The developed system is tested in Gazebo simulator and also on real UAVs.

The video presents a system proposed for stabilization of a swarm of unmanned and fully autonomous helicopters, using an expanded swarming model Boids. The main focus of this work lies in a proposal of robust and decentralized swarming behavior suited for complex environments with high density of obstacles, and its integration to a swarm of real helicopters. Constraints of multi-robot systems working in real time are considered. The capability of the swarm of unmanned helicopters to cluster and navigate in complex environments was verified in various simulations and real experiments.

This work deals with cooperative use of multiple unmanned helicopters for localization of ionizing radiation sources. Helicopters are equipped with these detectors and used in an active searching for an unknown radiation source. Two methods for localization of the source were designed. The first approach is fairly simple and uses a single helicopter, while the second is much more complex and uses a formation of three helicopters. Since it was not possible to deploy the necessary ammounts of radioactive material in laboratories, a simulation enviroment was created with the use of avaliable data, to simulate a radiation source as well as the particle detector.

Autonomous "snow" shoveling of an airport model. A group of autonomous robots cooperatively cleaning a model of airport from artificial snow. The approach is based on a model predictive control technique.

Navigation, localization and stabilization of formations of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. A leader-follower formation driving algorithm developed for control of heterogeneous groups of micro aerial vehicles and ground vehicles stabilized under a top-view relative localization is presented. The core of the proposed method lies in a novel avoidance function, in which the entire 3D formation is represented by a convex hull projected along a desired path to be followed by the group.

Cooperative UAV-UGV inspection. The video demonstrates a heterogenous MAV-UGV system in an autonomous inspection task. The mission is to visit a set of predefined places. The usual problem of inspection tasks is that while ground robots cannot access all areas, small micro aerial vehicles are limited by their low flying time and payload. The MAV-UGV team is able to overcome these limitations. The MAV is launched whenever the inspected area seems to be inaccessible. The ground robot heliport is able to adjust the quadrotor position after landing, which will allow to recharge the MAV.

For more demos with MAVs see our MRS demos page.

 

Selected publications:

Journal articles:

  1. M Saska, V Vonasek, T Krajnik and L Preucil. Coordination and Navigation of Heterogeneous MAV–UGV Formations Localized by a ‘hawk-eye’-like Approach Under a Model Predictive Control Scheme. International Journal of Robotics Research 33(10):1393–1412, September 2014. PDF BibTeX

    @article{Saska14:218644,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Krajnik, T. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Coordination and Navigation of Heterogeneous MAV\&\#8211;UGV Formations Localized by a \&\#8216;hawk-eye\&\#8217;-like Approach Under a Model Predictive Control Scheme}",
    	journal = "International Journal of Robotics Research",
    	year = 2014,
    	volume = 33,
    	number = 10,
    	pages = "1393--1412",
    	month = "September",
    	issn = "0278-3649",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/IJRR2014.pdf"
    }
    
  2. M Saska, T Krajnik, V Vonasek, Z Kasl, V Spurny and L Preucil. Fault-Tolerant Formation Driving Mechanism Designed for Heterogeneous MAVs-UGVs Groups. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 73(1-4):603–622, January 2014. URL PDF BibTeX

    @article{Saska14:212936,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Krajnik, T. and Vonasek, V. and Kasl, Z. and Spurny, V. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Fault-Tolerant Formation Driving Mechanism Designed for Heterogeneous MAVs-UGVs Groups}",
    	journal = "Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems",
    	year = 2014,
    	volume = 73,
    	number = "1-4",
    	pages = "603--622",
    	month = "January",
    	issn = "0921-0296",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10846-013-9976-6",
    	pdf = "data/papers/JINT14_failure.pdf"
    }
    
  3. M Saska, J S Mejia, D M Stipanovic, V Vonasek, K Schilling and L Preucil. Control and Navigation in Manoeuvres of Formations of Unmanned Mobile Vehicles. European Journal of Control 19(2):157–171, March 2013. URL PDF BibTeX

    @article{Saska13:206004,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Mejia, J.S. and Stipanovic, D.M. and Vonasek, V. and Schilling, K. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Control and Navigation in Manoeuvres of Formations of Unmanned Mobile Vehicles}",
    	journal = "European Journal of Control",
    	year = 2013,
    	volume = 19,
    	number = 2,
    	pages = "157--171",
    	month = "March",
    	issn = "0947-3580",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0947358013000204",
    	pdf = "data/papers/European_Journal_control2013.pdf"
    }
    
  4. M Saska, V Vonasek and L Preucil. Trajectory Planning and Control for Airport Snow Sweeping by Autonomous Formations of Ploughs. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 72(2):239–261, November 2013. URL PDF BibTeX

    @article{Saska13:210714,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Trajectory Planning and Control for Airport Snow Sweeping by Autonomous Formations of Ploughs}",
    	journal = "Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems",
    	year = 2013,
    	volume = 72,
    	number = 2,
    	pages = "239--261",
    	month = "November",
    	issn = "0921-0296",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007\%2Fs10846-013-9829-3",
    	pdf = "data/papers/JINT2013_2leaders.pdf"
    }
    
  5. M Hess, M Saska and K Schilling. Application of Coordinated Multi Vehicle Formations for Snow Shoveling on Airports. Inteligent Service Robotics 2(4):205 – 217, October 2009. PDF BibTeX

    @article{hess09mechatronics,
    	author = "Hess, M. and Saska, M. and Schilling, K.",
    	title = "Application of Coordinated Multi Vehicle Formations for Snow Shoveling on Airports",
    	journal = "Inteligent Service Robotics",
    	year = 2009,
    	volume = 2,
    	number = 4,
    	pages = "205 -- 217",
    	month = "October",
    	pdf = "data/papers/IntelligentServiceRoboticsJournal.pdf"
    }
    

WoS conference papers:

  1. M Saska, Z Kasl and L Preucil. Motion Planning and Control of Formations of Micro Aerial Vehicles. In Proceedings of The 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control. 2014, 1228–1233. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska14:219889,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Kasl, Z. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Motion Planning and Control of Formations of Micro Aerial Vehicles}",
    	booktitle = "{Proceedings of The 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control}",
    	publisher = "IFAC",
    	address = "Pretoria",
    	year = 2014,
    	pages = "1228--1233",
    	isbn = "978-3-902823-62-5",
    	issn = "1474-6670",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/ifac2014-crop-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  2. M Saska, T Krajnik, V Vonasek, P Vanek and L Preucil. Navigation, Localization and Stabilization of Formations of Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles. In Proceedings of 2013 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 2013, 831–840. URL PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska13:206002,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Krajnik, T. and Vonasek, V. and Vanek, P. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Navigation, Localization and Stabilization of Formations of Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles}",
    	booktitle = "{Proceedings of 2013 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems}",
    	publisher = "Springer",
    	address = "New York",
    	year = 2013,
    	pages = "831--840",
    	isbn = "978-1-4799-0817-2",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "https://controls.papercept.net/conferences/scripts/abstract.pl?ConfID=53\&Number=70",
    	pdf = "data/papers/icuas2013aFINAL-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  3. M Saska, V Spurny and L Preucil. Trajectory Planning and Stabilization for Formations Acting in Dynamic Environments. In Progress in Artificial Intelligence. 2013, 319–330. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska13:210722,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Spurny, V. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Trajectory Planning and Stabilization for Formations Acting in Dynamic Environments}",
    	booktitle = "{Progress in Artificial Intelligence}",
    	publisher = "Springer",
    	address = "Heidelberg",
    	year = 2013,
    	pages = "319--330",
    	isbn = "978-3-642-40668-3",
    	issn = "0302-9743",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/EPIA_IROBOT_2013_dynamic_obst-crop-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  4. M Saska, V Vonasek, T Krajnik and L Preucil. Coordination and Navigation of Heterogeneous UAVs-UGVs Teams Localized by a Hawk-Eye Approach. In Proceedings of 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 1. 2012, 2166–2171. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska12:198993,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Krajnik, T. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Coordination and Navigation of Heterogeneous UAVs-UGVs Teams Localized by a Hawk-Eye Approach}",
    	booktitle = "{Proceedings of 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems}",
    	publisher = "IEEE",
    	address = "Piscataway",
    	year = 2012,
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = "2166--2171",
    	isbn = "978-1-4673-1735-1",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/IROS-helMPC-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  5. M Saska, V Vonasek and L Preucil. Roads Sweeping by Unmanned Multi-vehicle Formations. In ICRA2011: Proceedings of 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. 2011, 631–636. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska11:184238,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Roads Sweeping by Unmanned Multi-vehicle Formations}",
    	booktitle = "{ICRA2011: Proceedings of 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation}",
    	publisher = "Omnipress",
    	address = "Madison",
    	year = 2011,
    	pages = "631--636",
    	isbn = "978-1-61284-386-5",
    	issn = "1050-4729",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/ICRA2011_2leaders_airport_final-crop-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  6. M Saska, V Vonasek and T Krajnik. Airport snow shoveling. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2010 1. 2010, 2531–2532. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska10:175771,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Krajnik, T.",
    	title = "{Airport snow shoveling}",
    	booktitle = "{IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2010}",
    	publisher = "IEEE Industrial Electronics Society",
    	address = "Taipei",
    	year = 2010,
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = "2531--2532",
    	isbn = "978-1-4244-6675-7",
    	issn = "2153-0858",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/iros2010_movie_airport-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  7. M Saska, V Vonasek and L Preucil. Control of ad-hoc formations for autonomous airport snow shoveling. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2010 1. 2010, 4995–5000. URL PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska10:175772,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vonasek, V. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Control of ad-hoc formations for autonomous airport snow shoveling}",
    	booktitle = "{IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2010}",
    	publisher = "IEEE Industrial Electronics Society",
    	address = "Taipei",
    	year = 2010,
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = "4995--5000",
    	isbn = "978-1-4244-6675-7",
    	issn = "2153-0858",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/search/srchabstract.jsp?tp=\&arnumber=5650712\&queryText\%3DControl+of+ad-hoc+formations+for+autonomous+",
    	pdf = "data/papers/IROS2010_final_splitting-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  8. M Saska, J S Mejia, D M Stipanovic and K Schilling. Control and Navigation of Formations of Car-Like Robots on a Receding Horizon. In Proc of 3rd IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control. 2009. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska09MSC,
    	author = "M. Saska and J. S. Mejia and D. M. Stipanovic and K. Schilling",
    	title = "Control and Navigation of Formations of Car-Like Robots on a Receding Horizon",
    	booktitle = "Proc of 3rd IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control",
    	year = 2009,
    	pdf = "data/papers/MSC-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  9. M Saska, M Hess and K Schilling. Efficient Airport Snow Shoveling by Applying Autonomous Multi-Vehicle Formations. In Proc. of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. May 2008. PDF BibTeX

    @conference{saska08icra,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Hess, M. and Schilling, K.",
    	title = "Efficient Airport Snow Shoveling by Applying Autonomous Multi-Vehicle Formations",
    	booktitle = "Proc. of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation",
    	month = "May",
    	address = "Pasadena, USA",
    	year = 2008,
    	pdf = "data/papers/ICRA2008-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  10. M Saska, M Hess and K Schilling. Route Scheduling Approach for Airport Snow Shoveling using Formations of Autonomous Ploughs. In Proc. of 10th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision (ICARCV 2008). December 2008. PDF BibTeX

    @conference{saska08icarcv,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Hess, M. and Schilling, K.",
    	title = "Route Scheduling Approach for Airport Snow Shoveling using Formations of Autonomous Ploughs",
    	booktitle = "Proc. of 10th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision (ICARCV 2008)",
    	month = "December",
    	address = "Hanoi, Vietnam",
    	year = 2008,
    	pdf = "data/papers/icarcv2008_Route Scheduling Approach.pdf"
    }
    
  11. M Saska, J Vakula and L Preucil. Swarms of Micro Aerial Vehicles Stabilized Under a Visual Relative Localization. In ICRA2014: Proceedings of 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. 2014, 3570–3575. URL PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska14:221382,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Vakula, J. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Swarms of Micro Aerial Vehicles Stabilized Under a Visual Relative Localization}",
    	booktitle = "{ICRA2014: Proceedings of 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation}",
    	publisher = "IEEE",
    	address = "Piscataway",
    	year = 2014,
    	pages = "3570--3575",
    	isbn = "978-1-4799-3684-7",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=\&arnumber=6907374",
    	pdf = "data/papers/ICRA2014escape_short-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  12. M Saska, J Chudoba, L Preucil, J Thomas, G Loianno, A Tresnak, V Vonasek and V Kumar. Autonomous Deployment of Swarms of Micro-Aerial Vehicles in Cooperative Surveillance. In Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS) 1. 2014, 584–595. URL PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska14:221385,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Chudoba, J. and Preucil, L. and Thomas, J. and Loianno, G. and Tresnak, A. and Vonasek, V. and Kumar, V.",
    	title = "{Autonomous Deployment of Swarms of Micro-Aerial Vehicles in Cooperative Surveillance}",
    	booktitle = "{Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)}",
    	publisher = "IEEE Computer society",
    	address = "Danvers",
    	year = 2014,
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = "584--595",
    	isbn = "978-1-4799-2376-2",
    	language = "English",
    	url = "http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=\&arnumber=6842301",
    	pdf = "data/papers/icuas2014-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  13. M Saska, J Langr and L Preucil. Plume Tracking by a Self-stabilized Group of Micro Aerial Vehicles. In Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems 1. 2014, 44–55. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Saska14:226686,
    	author = "Saska, M. and Langr, J. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Plume Tracking by a Self-stabilized Group of Micro Aerial Vehicles}",
    	booktitle = "{Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems}",
    	publisher = "Springer",
    	address = "Cham",
    	year = 2014,
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = "44--55",
    	isbn = "978-3-319-13822-0",
    	issn = "0302-9743",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/MESAS2014Springer-crop-joined.pdf"
    }
    
  14. J Faigl, T Krajnik, J Chudoba, L Preucil and M Saska. Low-Cost Embedded System for Relative Localization in Robotic Swarms. In ICRA2013: Proceedings of 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. 2013, 985–990. PDF BibTeX

    @inproceedings{Faigl13:205381,
    	author = "Faigl, J. and Krajnik, T. and Chudoba, J. and Preucil, L. and Saska, M.",
    	title = "{Low-Cost Embedded System for Relative Localization in Robotic Swarms}",
    	booktitle = "{ICRA2013: Proceedings of 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation}",
    	publisher = "IEEE",
    	address = "Piscataway",
    	year = 2013,
    	pages = "985--990",
    	isbn = "978-1-4673-5641-1",
    	issn = "1050-4729",
    	language = "English",
    	pdf = "data/papers/ICRA13cameraModule-joined.pdf"
    }
    

 

Student works

  • Zdeněk Kasl - 3D formations of unmanned aerial vehicles (M.Sc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Tomáš Báča - Control of relatively localized unmanned helicopters (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Jan Langr - Odor source localization using swarm of unmanned helicopters (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Jindřich Mráček - FSS algorithm adapted for control of swarm of unmanned helicopters (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Vojtěch Spurný - Heterogeneous formations of ground vehicles and unmanned helicopters (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Adam Třešňák - Shape optimization of swarm of unmanned helicopters (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Jan Vakula - Escape behavior in swarms of unmanned helicopters [pdf] (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Filip Eckstein - Formation control in environment with dynamic obstacles [pdf] (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Vojtěch Pavlík - Swarm intelligence applied in multi-robot applications [pdf] (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)
  • Pavel Zedník - Relative visual localization in swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles [pdf] (Bc. thesis supervised by Martin Saska)