Leveraging distribution and heterogeneity in robot systems architecture
O'Hara, Keith Joseph
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Like computer architects, robot designers must address multiple, possibly competing, requirements by balancing trade-offs in terms of processing, memory, communication, and energy to satisfy design objectives. However, robot architects currently lack the design guidelines, organizing principles, rules of thumb, and tools that computer architects rely upon. This thesis takes a step in this direction, by analyzing the roles of heterogeneity and distribution in robot systems architecture. This thesis takes a systems architecture approach to the design of robot systems, and in particular, investigates the use of distributed, heterogeneous platforms to exploit locality in robot systems design. We show how multiple, distributed heterogeneous platforms can serve as general purpose robot systems for three distinct domains with different design objectives: increasing availability in a search and rescue mission, increasing flexibility and ease-of-use for a personal educational robot, and decreasing the computation and sensing resources necessary for navigation and foraging tasks.
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