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Impact of Alien Networks on Consensus in a Team of Cooperative Mobile Robots

Ramos, D. Ramos ; Moreno, U. F. ; Oliveira, L. ; Almeida, L.

Impact of Alien Networks on Consensus in a Team of Cooperative Mobile Robots, Proc Brazilian Symposium on Computing Systems Engineering SBESC, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, Vol. 0, pp. 84 - 89, November, 2015.

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— In this work we present the integration between a cooperative robot control strategy and a wireless network simulated with OMNeT++. We use a consensus control strategy in a rendez-vous task, which relies on sharing information among a group of robots simulated in a MANET environment. We consider a network access protocol that includes the use of TDMA and loose synchronization to minimize message collisions. We also considered two cases in this work: a fixed pre-determined topology, which does not accept new links, and a dynamic topology that creates new links as robots get within communication range. We show the impact of alien networks that use a similar data link technology, generating message collisions on the control strategy considering both topologies. Moreover, having a robot network with many communication links generate better convergence results with the tradeoff of having an increased chance of divergence cases. Finally, we compare simulation results with those from a Matlab implementation of the control strategy using a typical simplified network model in which each message has a probability of being sent and processed. The resulting difference reveals the importance of using a more accurate network model, as in OMNeT++ and that there is a need for more complex topology control which avoids both weak links density to increase resilience to alien networks.