Coordination and longevity in multi-robot teams involving miniature robots

Andrew Drenner, Michael Janssen, Apostolos Kottas, Alex Kossett, Casey Carlson, Ryan Lloyd, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Marsupial robot teams offer the ability to augment or replace human-based responses to hazardous scenarios such as search-and-rescue missions or monitoring toxic environments. Coordination and longevity of the members of the marsupial robotic team can quickly become burdensome as the scope of the scenario changes. To facilitate large scale operations, robotic teams must be able to function continuously with limited to no human intervention for scenarios which may not have a pre-determined length at onset. An end-to-end design and implementation of a novel marsupial system where a multi-level hierarchy allows larger robots to transport, deploy, coordinate, recover, and resupply large numbers of smaller deployable systems is outlined. The design and implementation of hardware systems for performing these actions is discussed. In addition, the algorithms which coordinate the team members are presented. Simulation illustrating the scalability of the approach is presented including experiments illustrating a light-weight vision-based autonomous docking capability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-284
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation through grants #IIS-0219863, #CNS-0224363, #CNS-0324864, #CNS-0420836, #IIP-0443945, #IIP-0726109, #CNS-0708344, #IIP-0934327, and #IIS-1017344, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


  • Marsupial robots
  • Robot placement
  • Robot team control
  • Robot teams


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