Portus: A Common Framework for Cooperation in Mobile Robotics (FCT - POSI/SRI/41315/2001)
This project aims at developing a new approach to cooperative robotics in general and to building RoboSoccer teams in particular. The project main goal is to design a software common framework suitable for the implementation of a agent-based software that may control robots to be used for several cooperative robotic tasks and in particular, may control robots that are able to play in any Robotic Soccer league (simulation, small-size, middle-size and legged). The same agent-based software will control each one of the robots of Portus team, regarding its action and perception capabilities and the cooperative task to perform.
The common framework will include a knowledge representation structure capable of representing structured knowledge supplied by a domain expert to a team of cooperative robots. This structure is instantiated by special supervisor agents developed for each RoboCup league or cooperative task to perform. Supervisor agents communicate with the common framework via a supervisor language based on high-level concepts like tactics, formations, situations, roles, etc. Each agent also includes a dynamic world state model that will be updated though visual perception, robot communication and action prediction. In Portus project, both inter-agent cooperation and team coordination policies have to be investigated. This will include cooperation methods like dynamic positioning and role exchange, strategic positioning and intelligent communication.
In order to control different robots, the common framework software agent need specific parts that must also be built to deal with special constraints related with the agent’s perception and action capabilities. Low-level skills will be designed for each type of robot although their specific high-level actions will be derived through the common framework. Dynamical models adjusted to each type of robot and actuator will be built along with efficient, precise and robust control systems for robot safe mobility. A general language of action has also to be developed to enable the specific action modules to understand high-level decision making. The project also includes the construction of specific perception modules that deal with image processing and analysis. A special perception language will enable the communication of perception information from these and other modules to the common framework agent. In order to test our approach, we will develop physical Robotic platforms that conform to RoboCup different leagues’ rules and standard environments for each RoboCup league, including special sensors to enable better robot performance analysis.
The very idea of Portus project is then to design an agent-based common framework applicable in partially cooperative, partially adversarial domains, to different cooperative robotic tasks, including all major RoboCup soccer leagues. This way, we plan to give continuity to successful Portuguese participations (robotic teams developed by this proposal participants) in RoboCup international competition. In previous competitions, FC Portugal (LIACC-FEUP) became European and World champion of RoboCup2000 – Simulation league and 5DPO (ISR-FEUP) became third in RoboCup98 – Small-Size league).
The main objective of Portus is to develop a common agent-based framework for controlling cooperative teams of mobile robots. According to the general architecture we are envisaging for the proposed framework, this objective may be subdivided into the following sub-objectives:
Portus main contribution will be a configurable common framework flexible enough to deal with perception, decision-making and action for different (both real and virtual) cooperative teams of robots
Partners: FEUP-DEEC / LIACC-FEUP / ISR-Porto
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