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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 630175, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/630175
Research Article

Holistic Connectivity Controller for Multirobot Dispersion

1School of Computer and Communication Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2Beijing Key Laboratory of Knowledge Engineering for Materials Science, Beijing 100083, China

Received 30 January 2013; Accepted 5 April 2013

Academic Editor: Yang Tang

Copyright © 2013 Zhenqiang Mi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dispersion of mobile robots in a certain formation is prerequisite in many applications; one of the most important issues during the entire process is to maintain the interagent connections, as well as to restore them whenever they were broken. We investigate the aforementioned problem in this work by designing a holistic connectivity controller (HCC) to regulate and restore the interagent connections during the dispersion of the mobile network. HCC consists of two core structures. Firstly, to illustrate the multirobot dispersion, we adopt the distributed link removal algorithm (DLRA), which is able to remove redundant links in the multirobot network to facilitate the dispersion and only requires local information of no more than two-hop neighbors. Secondly, the proposed approach is extended to the problem of connectivity restoration with consideration of simultaneous failure of multiple agents. A connectivity restoration strategy is proposed, and then the recoverability of network connectivity is investigated. The proposed HCC has also integrated motion controller to regulate the movement of the mobile robots, so that interrobot collisions can be effectively avoided. Theoretical analysis and computer simulations have confirmed the efficiency and scalability of the proposed schemes.