Initial formation brainstorming

  • Secret Service / VIP
    • Flying V
  • Heterogeneous goals (a la Naval teams)
  • Circles
  • Dynamic Formations
  • Orbiting
  • "Push"

Top three formations to begin thinking about

  • Easy: Circles
  • Medium: Secret Service
  • Hard: Dynamic formations


  • Circles:
    • Assume no walls to block circle
    • Decide on "Steady state" for system; when is it done?
    • Formation starts with clump or robots
    • One robot is chose as center "beacon" robot
    • When sent a signal, all edge robots turn to face beacon using BOM
    • Once facing center, each edge robot moves forward or backward to a predetermined radius using rangefinders
    • After reaching correct distance from beacon, edge robot sends signal back to beacon
    • Once all edges have communicated end state with beacon, beacon then has control
  • Secret Service (Somewhat of an extension of Circles)
    • Designated VIP robot stays in one place
    • Other robots move to see VIP
    • VIP communicates when others are in teh right place
    • For movement, other can just copy VIP's movement
      • VIP must be slowed or limited to compensate for awkward mobility issues/holonomic problems
      • Possible solution: Turn stops
    • What about error detection?
      • Must consider what to do when movement packets get dropped
      • Possible regrouping states
    • Possible order for developing:
      • Follow the leader
      • Body guards
      • Expand from there
  • Dynamic Formations
    • Parametrized(or random?) number of groups to split around obstacle
    • Split wireless communication
      • By packet ID
      • By XBEE channel (not optimal)

Plan of action for next few weeks

  • 2hr. Implementation of Circles (Monday 11/9)
    • Use code from Lab 2 to turn and face using BOM
    • Use beacon robot code for beacon
    • Code for moving to correct radius is simple
    • Need to write: Communications code
  • Lemmings
    • First robot has smart runaround code
    • All other robots have "follow the robot in front of me" code
  • Flying V
    • Modification of Lemmings with adjusted rangefinder values
  • Orbit Circle
  • Expand from there