Control of a robotic swarm for the elimination of marine oil pollutions
This paper presents the concept as well as first results of the EU-MOP ("Elimination Units for Marine Oil Pollutions") project. The basic idea of this project is a swarm out of autonomous marine robots which are able to recover oil with the help of oil skimmers. In order to achieve a flexible and robust system, the swarm intelligence (SI) approach has been used as control paradigm for the EU-MOP robots. Within the SI approach interaction between the robots plays an important role for the performance of the whole multi robot system. Thus, three control approaches, all basing on SI, but with different levels of interaction, have been developed. Furthermore a method for the evaluation of swarms in comparison to single robot systems will be presented. EU-MOP is a research project co-funded by the European Commission in the context of the 6th Framework Programme. The project started in February of 2005 and has a duration of 3 years. The EU-MOP consortium is coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens (Greece), and also includes as partners the University of Glasgow and Strathclyde (UK), Sirehna S.A. (France), I (Portugal), BMT Ltd (UK), Cetemar S.L. (Spain), Environmental Protection Engineering S.A. (Greece), Aurensis S.L. (Spain), the University of Oxford (UK), Consultrans S.A. (Spain), the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (Germany), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA (Germany).