Putting swarm development in the hands of domain experts.
With the costs of robotic hardware falling dramatically and the reliability of basic robot technology increasing substantially, it is becoming more practical to think about robot swarms doing tasks in real environments. Since swarm behavior is inherently an emergent phenomenon, creating swarm behaviors is an iterative process of defining some swarm rules, observing the resulting behavior and then changing the rules to get closer to the required behavior.
Integrated Development Environment for the Actualization of Swarms (IDEAS) is a development environment to put swarm development in the hands of domain experts, to make swarming an operational reality. IDEAS has two major components. First, an editor for designing specific swarming behaviors, featuring fully graphical behavior specification and a live simulation that immediately shows the resulting behavior. Second, an editor for organizing individual behaviors into full complex, multi-stage missions, again fully graphically. The resulting behavior can be deployed on a range of robots, via a sandbox that interfaces the behavior to the robot control system. We are working with UAV and UGV makers to demonstrate and deploy the technology.
Graphical editor for interactively designing swarm behaviors
Sequence swarm behaviors into entire missions
Sandbox for interfacing to different robots
Command interfaces for managing the swarm