Mobile Robot Laboratory Research Projects

Team Teleautonomy

Project Director

Dr. Ronald C. Arkin.

Graduate Student Researcher

Khaled Ali.




Telerobotic control of groups of mobile behavior-based robots is developed. The operator controls the robot group as a whole, rather than one robot at a time. The motivations are to reduce cognitive overload when a human is controlling large numbers of robots, and to allow interactive control of behavioral parameters without the need for knowledge of how and what the behaviors do.

One strategy that is used is to treat the operator as another behavior. The human operator provides directional input to teleautonomy schemas on each robot through an on-screen joystick, as seen in the picture above. The teleautonomy behavior on each robot produces an output to move in the direction indicated, and this output is combined with the outputs from the other behaviors to influence the direction that the robot moves.

Another strategy that is used is to treat the operator as a behavioral supervisor. The operator adjusts the behavioral parameters of the robot group during execution. A set of behavioral parameters can be grouped and modified as one. These groupings can represent more abstract traits, or "personality", of the robots' overt behavior. For instance, a grouping called Aggressiveness has been defined. Increasing Aggressiveness increases goal-seeking behavior and decreases obstacle-avoidance behavior.

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