Autonomous mobile robots have now emerged as a means of transportation in several applications, such as warehouse, factory, space, and deep-sea where direct human intervention is impossible or impractical. Since explicit communication provides a better and reliable way of multi-robot coordination compared to implicit communication, so it is preferred in critical missions, such as search and rescue, where efficient and continuous coordination between robots is required. Cooperative object transportation is needed when the object is either heavy or too large or needs extra care to handle (e.g., shifting a glass table) or has a complex shape, which makes it difficult for a single robot to transport. All group members need no participation in the physical act of transport; cooperation can still be achieved when some robots transport the object, and others are involved in, say, coordination and navigation along the desired trajectory and/or clear obstacles along the path. A distributed approach for autonomous cooperative transportation in a dynamic multi-robot environment is discussed.
Part of the book: Robotics Software Design and Engineering