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Cellular Automata-based Architecture for Cooperative Miniature Robots
Konstantinos Ioannidis, Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis and Ioannis Andreadis

The creation of collision-free paths for mobile robots, also known as the path planning problem, is a vibrant research field of robotics. Most related approaches for robotic teams display an increment of their total complexity due to the cooperative tasks that must be simultaneously achieved such as forming specific patterns. In addition, these methods extensively bind resources of the system in order to be fully functional and thus, no further tasks could be performed. In this paper, a path planning approach based on Cellular Automata (CA) is introduced. The proposed method assumes that a predefined distance must be covered by a team of robots while preserving their initial formation through cooperations. Due to its simplicity, the resulted computational burden permits the implementation of different methods in the same system in order to accomplish further tasks including image processing techniques. The usage of multiple digital cameras is one of the most interesting aspects of the image processing research area; nevertheless, in mobile robotics, miniature robots are equipped with low resolution cameras constraining the range of image processing applications. In order to preserve the total computational burden and produce higher resolution images, a CA-based image resizing method is inserted in the same cooperative robot system. Higher resolution images could be further processed to attain area measurements, panoramic images etc. Exploiting the inherit parallelism of the CA, both approaches could be executed concurrently. Results indicate that the total CA architecture outcomes low computational cost leading to an appropriate scheme for miniature robots functionality while both paths are properly created and the resolution of the captured images is sufficiently increased.

Keywords: Miniature robots, cellular automata, cooperation tasks, path planning, image resizing.

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