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Hyper-heuristic online learning for self-assembling swarm robots
conference contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Yu, A Aleti, Jan Carlo BarcaJan Carlo Barca, A Song
© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018. A robot swarm is a solution for difficult and large scale tasks. However, controlling and coordinating a swarm of robots is challenging, because of the complexity and uncertainty of the environment where manual programming of robot behaviours is often impractical. In this study we propose a hyper-heuristic methodology for swarm robots. It allows robots to create suitable actions based on a set of low-level heuristics, where each heuristic is a behavioural element. With online learning, the robot behaviours can be improved during execution by autonomous heuristic adjustment. The proposed hyper-heuristic framework is applied to surface cleaning tasks on buildings where multiple separate surfaces exist and complete surface information is difficult to obtain. Under this scenario, the robot swarm not only needs to clean the surfaces efficiently by distributing the robots, but also to move across surfaces by self-assembling into a bridge structure. Experimental results showed the effectiveness of the hyper-heuristic framework; the same group of robots was able to autonomously deal with multiple surfaces of different layouts. Their behaviours can improve over time because of the online learning mechanism.