Robot swarm dispersion is an important area of research with many applications
including the deployment of sensor networks for military, search and rescue, emergency
response, intruder alert, and other applications. In this work, we examine how
robots with only laser data and the ability to communicate within a certain radius
may disperse in a complex unknown environment. We present a python framework
for running and evaluating robot swarms using controllers within the Player/Stage
framework. Finally, we demonstrate a modular state-based algorithm for robot dispersion
which attempts to maximize coverage while minimizing loss of connectivity
during deployment. We demonstrate using the Player/Stage environment that this
can in fact reliably achieve over a 100% percent increase in coverage over a variety of
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. March 2010. Major: Computer Science. Advisor: Maria Gini. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 80 pages.
Swarm dispersion via leader election, potential fields, and counting hops..
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