Implementing Boids behaviors on the ChIRP robots
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This thesis gives a brief overview to the field of swarm robotics and investigates how robots are able to flock together using the Boids algorithm. Four robots will be used in this thesis. Swarm robotics is an emergent field in artificial intelligence which takes advantage of many smaller cheaper robots instead of using a traditional complex robot. The advantage of flocking robots is that the overall system becomes more stable, more robust because each robot contributes to the overall robustness of the swarm. Boids algorithm is an algorithm meant for computer animation or computer aided design and has been used in various movies. In this thesis, a Boids simulator will be implemented to get a hands-on experience with the behavior of the Boids. Then the Boids algorithm will be implemented on four differential wheeled robots which have only distance sensors equipped, and a Bluetooth module which they can use to communicate with a Bluetooth-enabled phone or PC. The robots are not able to distinguish obstacles from other robots using their distance sensors only, therefore a centralized computer with an attached camera will be used to provide data to the robots that they do not have access to.The robots used in this thesis is a differential wheeled robot called the ChIRP robot, which is an open source robot made by the CRAB lab at the Artificial Intelligence section of the Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.