Navigating by Stigmergy: A Realization on an RFID Floor for Minimalistic Robots
R. Johansson and A. Saffiotti
Stigmergy is a mechanism that allows the coordination of actions within
the same agent or across different agents by means of traces left in the
environment. We propose a stigmergetic approach to robot navigation in
which a robot sets values in a hexagonal grid of RFID tags buried under
the floor. This approach only requires minimal resources on the robot.
The RFID floor will eventually contain a distance map that can guide the
robot to a given goal (or set of goals) without the use of any
localization system. The same map can be used or improved by other
robots or by the same robot at later times. We define algorithms for
building the RFID-floor map and for navigating on this map, we prove the
convergence of the map building algorithm, and we show an empirical
validation of our results using a small robot in a domestic environment.
This paper is based on Robert Johannson's MSc thesis, winner of
the SAIS 2009 award for the best MSc thesis in A.I.