Our research is on distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, with a focus on both algorithm and systems design. Our long-term goals are to understand computation on multi-robot systems in theory and in practice.

The swarm of robots used for Dr. McLurkin's work was built during his tenure at iRobot corporation as project manager and lead software engineer on the DARPA-funded Swarm project.

We believe that multi-robot systems will require a unique theory of computation, distinct from robotics in general, distributed computation, and networked systems, but borrowing ideas from them all.

Swarm bots in a row.

Most applications require subgroups of robots to perform different tasks. To support this, we designed a set of four distributed algorithms for dynamic task assignment.

The goal of this project is to design a library of practical, well-abstracted, multi-robot distributed algorithms, suitable for many applications.

This was joint work with Mac Schwager and Daniela Rus.

An example of boundary detection

Similar in spirit to the alpha-shapes of Edelsbrunner, our boundary detection algorithm creates a "skin-tight" boundary around the network, detecting convex and concave sections.