[robotics-worldwide] [news] The Robotarium - A Remotely Accessible Swarm-Robotics Testbed

Egerstedt, Magnus magnus.egerstedt at ece.gatech.edu
Mon Nov 7 06:58:36 PST 2016

In multi-agent robotics, the gap between algorithmic development and actual deployment of teams of robots is both large and costly, making accessibility a problem. To remedy this, the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent machines at Georgia Tech has developed the Robotarium - a remotely accessible swarm robotics lab where researchers in areas such as swarm robotics, distributed and coordinated control, and decision making in social, biological systems, can upload their control programs to the Robotarium website (www.robotarium.org) and run customized experiments on teams of mobile robots.

The Robotarium is now open for business, and interested researchers are encouraged to visit www.robotarium.org or contact Magnus Egerstedt (magnus at robotics.gatech.edu) or Daniel Pickem (daniel.pickem at gatech.edu) for more information.

More About the Robotarium
Currently, up to 20 miniature wheeled ground robots are available in the Robotarium for remote experimentation. Users can prototype their code in the provided Matlab simulator and submit the exact same code for execution on the Robotarium through the Robotarium web portal. Following the successful execution of an experiment, a video as well as the robots' state and input data can be accessed through the user's account. Experiment execution is completely automated and relies on the Robotarium's built-in collision avoidance, autonomous recharging, as well as convenience tools to simplify robotic experimentation.

The Robotarium uses an overhead camera system to track all robots and provide global pose data through a Matlab API while robots are controlled through linear and angular velocity inputs. The robots are equipped with a WiFi communication link and capable of operating up to 40 minutes on a single battery charge. However, an autonomous wireless charging mechanism enables their continuous long-term operation.

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