OHSC - A modular software framework for the rapid development of heterogeneuous robots

James Dannatt


This paper presents a modular, application-independent approach and model - in both hardware architecture and
software framework - for the design, development, and deployment of heterogeneous robotic swarms. Through
adhering to the constraints of the presented hardware framework, the software framework is deployed on two
robots of varying morphologies. A P3AT land rover and a quadrotor drone platform are then deployed in order to
demonstrate two robotic swarm behaviours: the autonomous encirclement of a target object, and 3D occupancy
mapping of a 4x4 m test environment. A new low computational cost encirclement algorithm is presented and
using the quadrotor platform is shown to provide a 60% improvement in position deviation over algorithms of
comparable complexity. Finally, the results of the autonomous mapping scenario are discussed and a qualitative
analysis of a reconstructed environment suggests accurate macro level detail capture of objects at a low 2.58 MB
storage requirement. The results and ease of implementation of this system will allow researchers and industry to
break the existing trend of single-use robot design.

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