There are a number of reasons for using heterogeneity as a design feature in multi-robot systems, including economic and engineering issues arising from the constraints of complex multi-robot applications. In many situations, for example, an application demands robotic capabilities that are difficult, if not impossible, to build into a single type of robot. In this talk, research issues that arise in dealing with heterogeneity in multi-robot teams will be discussed, along with some strategies for approaching these issues. We will overview two approaches we have developed, called ALLIANCE and ASyMTRe, that address some of the key issues of heterogeneity in multi-robot teams. We will conclude by examining some open issues in heterogeneous robot systems.
Multi-robot teams, heterogeneous, distributed robots