Design and Analysis of Internet-Based Tele-Coordinated Multi-Robot Systems

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The coordination of multi-robots is required in many scenarios for efficiency and task completion. Combined with teleoperation capabilities, coordinating robots provide a powerful tool. Add to this the Internet and now it is possible for multi-experts at multi-remote sites to control multi-robots in a coordinated fashion. For this to be feasible there are several hurdles to be crossed including Internet type delays, uncertainties in the environment and uncertainties in the object manipulated. In addition, there is a need to measure and control the quality of tele-coordination. To this end, the measure of force sensed by each robot is suggested and justified as a coordination index. It was proven that if n robots are event-transparent and event-synchronous then they can be teleoperated under random delay conditions to coordinate to any index value, which is feasible under no delay conditions. The design procedure that ensures a system can satisfy a small coordination index was presented and analyzed.In addition, the design and analysis of event-synchronous systems using Petri Nets is detailed. The Petri Net design methodology is presented for both event-synchronous single operator single robot teleoperation systems and event-synchronous multi-operator multi-robot teleoperation systems.The theory developed was tested by bilaterally tele-coordinating two mobile manipulators via the Internet. The experimental results confirmed the theoretical results presented.

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