Lab Course: Distributed Task Planning for a Group of Mobile Robots WS 2015/2016

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015

rc2015-final Lab course to develop a distributed planning component for a competitive factory automation scenario in simulation.
The Knowledge-Based Systems Group is, amongst others, doing research in task-level reasoning and agent controllers for mobile robots like in the RoboCup Logistics League (RCLL) as part of the Carologistics RoboCup Team.

Developing agents for such robotic tasks poses diverse problems to solve: acting rationally under hard real-time constraints, agent-to-agent communication, multi-robot cooperation, and task-level reasoning.

The goal of this lab course is to design and develop a distributed planning system inspired by or even based on existing systems like the the roby plan manager or plan merging approaches (PDF). The system will be implemented using the Fawkes robot software framework. All basic components (self-localization, locomotion, perception) will be provided. The simulation will allow to focus on the planning system and the modeling of the domain.

The scenario for the lab course will be the RoboCup Logistics League (RCLL). In this scenario (top picture), two competing groups of three robots each must complete dynamic production chains according to orders which are posted throughout the game period of 15 minutes. We have developed a simulation of the RCLL (lower picture) that allows to quickly run the game and test without long setup times of real robots. If the resulting components run stable in simulation, there is an option to transfer the results to real robots towards the end of the lab course.

rcll2016-sim-two-teams

During the course, you will learn to gather the required data from the system, write and adapt skills written using the Lua-based Behavior Engine, and create distributed plans implementing the overall team strategy. Towards the end of the course, we want to have a little competition, where the agents of the groups compete among each other, and with the existing CLIPS-based agent system. We have done this in the past with great success and fun.

More information is on the lab coordination website.

In this lab course you have the chance to

  • learn about robot software development
  • develop an intelligent control program
  • apply methods of AI to robotic scenarios

Videos

The following shows a video of the simulation explaining its basic elements.

You can find many more videos showing and explaining the game at the Carologistics Youtube Channel. It specifically contains a playlist with videos of the RCLL Winter School 2015 that explain major components of the system.

Requirements

  • basic study period completed (Bachelor/Vordiplom)
  • lecture “Artificial Intelligence” from our department (or objective evidence of equivalent knowledge)
  • programming skills (mostly C++)
  • interest in logic-based programming
  • high motivation
  • Linux skills beneficial

Registration

Slots are being centrally assigned. Registration will open from June 25th July 8th through the Central Seminar and Practical Project Seminar (Praktikum) Registration System.

Outline

The rough outline of the lab course’s schedule is as follows:

  • getting to know our software framework (Fawkes)
  • work in groups (2-4 students each)
  • concept + design
  • implementation
  • integration
  • evaluation

The date and time for the introductory meeting will be determined after the registration.