Protocol Labs Research
2014-11-02 / Conference paper
A graph-based formation algorithm for odor plume tracing
Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS 2014) / 2014.11.02 / Daejeon, South Korea
Jorge M. Soares , A. Pedro Aguiar, António M. Pascoal, Alcherio Martinoli


Odor plume tracing is a challenging robotics application, made difficult by the combination of the patchy characteristics of odor distribution and the slow response of the available sensors. This work proposes a graph-based formation control algorithm to coordinate a group of small robots equipped with odor sensors, with the goal of tracing an odor plume to its source. This approach makes it possible to organize the robots in arbitrary and evolving formation shapes with the aim of improving tracing performance. The algorithm was evaluated in a high-fidelity submicroscopic simulator, using different formations and achieving quick convergence and negligible distance overhead in laminar wind flows.