Multi-Agent and Multi-Robot Systems

Research lines:

  • Cooperation and Coordination
  • Distributed Planning and Problem Solving
  • Information Fusion and Situation Assessment
  • Cognitive Human-Robot Interaction
  • Multi-Agent/Robot Learning
  • Cooperative Perception

Members:
Luca Iocchi, Daniele Nardi (leader), Giuseppe Oriolo, Marilena Vendittelli.

PhD Students:
Ricardo Dodds, Antonio Franchi, Matteo Leonetti, Gabriele Randelli, Paolo Stegano, Alberto Valero.

Post Docs:
Domenico Bloisi, Daniele Calisi, Luca Marchetti, Vittorio Amos Ziparo.

The research in this area stemmed from the work on Cognitive Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and the specific focus on multi-agent and multi-robot system has been originated by the participation in RoboCup competitions, starting back in 1998. The RoboCup competitions provide a very challenging experimental framework both for multi-robot systems and for  (virtual) multi-agent systems. Consequently, the research developed in the area of Multi-Agent and Multi-Robot Systems has produced both theoretical results on several research problems as well as a number of prototype implementations.

The research topics addressed include:
- Cooperation and Coordination
- Distributed Planning and Problem Solving
- Information Fusion and Situation Assessment
- Cognitive Human-Robot Interaction
- Multi-Agent/Robot Learning
- Cooperative Perception

The implementation effort has been supported through OpenRDK, a software framework for the development of robotic applications, that has been released to the community (http://openrdk.sourceforge.net).
The application domains, where the research ideas have been tested and experimentally evaluated, include virtual agents in search and rescue simulation and multi-robot systems in soccer, search and rescue, surveillance and domotics.

The growing complexity of applications makes a distributed approach, where several agents can work in cooperation, more and more compelling. Moreover, the interaction between agents and humans will play an increasing role, to support the deployment of teams of robotic agents (including sensor networks) as well as of new software solutions that are conceived as multi-agent systems. Consequently, the work in this area is expected to grow by addressing new research challenges and by exploiting the potential of the new robotic platforms available, ranging from NAO humanoid robots by Aldebaran, to mini UAVs deployable in search and rescue operations, to more traditional wheeled platforms.

The group has a solid tradition of cooperation with other research groups worldwide, and is very interested in establishing new collaborations and hosting foreign researchers.

Projects:
PEEM: Post-earthquake emergency: Methods, Techniques and Support Instrumentation
March 2004 - December 2007, Scientific Cooperation Italy-Japan, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

GAPACOM: Sistema satellitare terra/bordo basato sullo studio di un payload NAVCOM innovativo da imbarcare sui satelliti GALILEO (Ground/satellite system based on new NAVCOM payload for GALILEO satellites)
November 2008 - December 2010, Thales Alenia Space.

SAMAS: Sistema adattativo multi robot e sue applicazioni per lo sminamento (Adaptive multi-robot services and its applications to demining) Servizi di cooperazione (Cooperation services)
March 2009 - March 2010, Space Software Italia.

MREM: Multi-Robot Teams for Environmental Monitoring
May 2009 - May 2010, Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), USA

Projects managed by CINI
(Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale di Informatica)

Iniziativa Software, Situation Awareness
April 2006 - April 2009, SESM, Finmeccanica

Iniziativa Software 2, Situation Awareness
November 2009 - November 2011, SESM, SELEX-SI, Finmeccanica

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