Dynamically Formed Heterogeneous Robot Teams Performng Tightly Coordinated Tasks

As we progress towards a world where robots play an integral role in society, a critical problem that remains to be solved is the Pickup Team Challenge; that is, dynamically formed heterogeneous robot teams executing coordinated tasks where little information is known a priori about the tasks, the robots, and the environments in which they will operate. Successful solutions to forming pickup teams will enable researchers to experiment with larger numbers of robots and enable industry to efficiently and cost-effectively integrate new robot technology with existing legacy teams. In this paper, we define the challenge of pickup teams and propose the treasure hunt domain for evaluating the performance of pickup teams. Additionally, we describe a basic implementation of a pickup team that can search and discover treasure in a previously unknown environment. We build on prior approaches in market-based task allocation and plays for synchronized task execution, to allocate roles amongst robots in the pickup team, and to execute synchronized team actions to accomplish the treasure hunt task.

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