The 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles 2010

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Robust Multirobot Task Assignment

Nelson Gonçalves
Instituto Superior Técnico

João Sequeira
Instituto Superior Técnico

A market based approach for the assignment of tasks in a multi-robot system is presented in this paper. The mobile robots are organized in groups, where tasks are locally assigned using an auction protocol. The performance of the groups is evaluated using a measure similar to the concept of economic prices. The mobile robots use this information at run-time, to switch to groups where prices are higher. A theoretical analysis on the operation of the system is also
presented. It is shown that under reasonably mild assumptions: (i) tasks are always assigned if there are idle robots, (ii) it is possible to detect the occurrence of failures which prevent
the assignment of tasks and (iii) the approach is robust to the breakdown of any individual component.

The uncertainty on how to distribute the robots among the groups is quantified with an entropy based measure. It is shown that the entropy of the system decreases if the components suffer severe failures of if the operating conditions deteriorate.


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