MRComm: Multi-robot communication testbed

Tsvetan Zhivkov, Eric Schneider*, Elizabeth Sklar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This work demonstrates how dynamic robot behaviour that responds to different types of network disturbances can improve communication and mission performance in a Multi-Robot Team (MRT). A series of experiments are conducted which show how two different network perturbations (i.e. packet loss and signal loss) and two different network types (i.e. wireless local area network and ad-hoc network) impact communication. Performance is compared using two MRT behaviours: a baseline versus a novel dynamic behaviour that adapts to fluctuations in communication quality. Experiments are carried out on a known map with tasks assigned to a robot team at the start of a mission. During each experiment, a number of performance metrics are recorded. A novel dynamic Leader-Follower (LF) behaviour enables continuous communication through two key functions: the first reacts to the network type by using signal strength to determine if the robot team must commit to grouping together to maintain communication; and the second employs a special task status messaging function that guarantees a message is communicated successfully to the team members. The results presented in this work are significant for real-world multi-robot system applications that require continuous communication amongst team members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-357
Number of pages12
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event20th Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems Conference, TAROS 2019 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20195 Jul 2019


  • Behaviour-based control
  • Dynamic roles
  • Multi-robot team


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