Image: Enno Kapitza for DLR
Swarm exploration group was founded on October 1, 2014 at the Institute of Communication and Navigation. The focus of the group lies in
Methodologically, the algorithms for swarm exploration are largely based on modern methods of signal processing, estimation theory and inference, as well as machine learning methods over networks, with the aim to address the following key research questions:
A range of laboratory equipment is used to validate the developed algorithms. For indoor experiments, for example, the "Holodeck" laboratory is used, which allows very precise localization of robots thanks to a Vicon® tracking system. Also, diverse outdoor locations can be used for experiments. The research group currently has 6 hexacopters, 10 quadrocopters and 6 rovers equipped at their disposal. The robots can be flexibly equipped with different sensors and mini-PCs to test the developed algorithms.
Current research topics of the group are:
Sniffing Swarm: Exploration of Gasleaks using autonomous swarms
The aim of the project is to develop a robot-based olfaction technology that can be used to map a gas dispersing from unknown gas sources. Robotic swarms of multicopters and/or rovers are to be used for this purpose. The individual agents in a swarm should cooperate with each other, use miniaturized gas sensors and solve their task in a significantly shorter time as compared to a single robot.
A.H.E.A.D.: Autonomous Humanitarian Emergency Aid Devices
Project aims at development of technologies for teleoperation of a truck for last mile emergency deliveries. The trucks are planned to be used by World Food Program for food and medical supplies deliveries in low-security, high-risk environments affected by civil unrest, civil war, and/or fragile states with conflicting parties.
DLR-Wissenschaftspreis 2021: Self-Aware Swarm Navigation in Autonomous Exploration Missions