Title Instantaneous Actions vs. Full Asynchronicity: Controlling and Coordinating a Set of Autonomous Mobile Robots
Authors Giuseppe Prencipe, Dipartimento di Informatica, Universita' di Pisa
Main Fields
Abstract + Keywords Over the past few years, the focus of robotic design has been moving
from a scenario where few, specialized (and expensive)
units were used to solve a variety of tasks, to a scenario where
many, general purpose (and cheap) units were used to achieve some
common goal. Consequently, part of the focus has been 
to better understand how to
efficiently coordinate and control a set of such ``simpler'' mobile
units. Studies can be found in different
disciplines, from engineering to artificial life: a shared feature of the
majority of these studies has been the design of algorithms based on
heuristics, without mainly being concerned with correctness and
termination of such algorithms. Few studies have focused
on trying to formally model an environment constituted by mobile
units, studying which kind of capabilities they must have in order to
achieve their goals; in other words, to study the problem from a 
{\em computational} point of view. This paper focuses on two of these
(the only ones, to our knowledge, that analyze the problem of
coordinating and controlling a set of autonomous, mobile units from
this point of view). First, their
main features are described. Then, the main differences 
are highlighted, showing the relationship between the class of problems solvable in the two models.

Keywords: distributed coordination, mobile robots, asynchronicity.