Safe Path Planning
Path planning algorithms for safe interaction and deployment.
Actuation resilient and difficult dynamics handling for reliable operations.
Collaborative and single agent transportation methods for space and subsea.
Efficient Formation Flight
Communication efficient control methods, scalable for large swarms.
Combined load transportation and planning for large scale assembly.
Resilient and augmented autonomous systems via distributed control and modular systems.
Multi-agent robotic systems are the best candidates for the support of future space and underwater missions, due to their inherent resilience to individual agent failures, and application to a wider range of tasks by using heterogeneous elements. Underwater and space environments share a common effect over the systems navigating through them: perceived weightlessness, where bodies can float and, in some conditions, drift indefinitely. Weightless environments pose new control challenges, considering the complexity of safety during execution, as well as redundancy for an increased mission success rate. Automatic control methods designed for safety-critical multi-agent systems in weightless environments are, therefore, a necessity. The multi-agent approach in this project is expected to promote a symbiosis between astronauts/divers and robotic assistants in operations involving formations, collaborative load transportation, as well as safe human-robot interaction. DISCOWER is a step forward towards efficient and resilient exploration missions, yielding a strong impact in the sustainable discovery of both space and underwater systems and beyond.
In view of the experiences within space and subsea environments, this project aims at a bi-directional technology transfer, where agents operating in both environments benefit from one another’s technological breakthroughs. The chosen approach may lead to advancing distributed and safe control methods for multi-agent systems, tailored for safety-critical applications, and filling the research gap on control and planning for weightless environments.