Adaptive communication in multi-robot systems using directionality of signal strength

Stephanie Gil, Swarun Kumar, Dina Katabi, Daniela Rus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We consider the problem of satisfying communication demands in a multi-agent system where several robots cooperate on a task and a fixed subset of the agents act as mobile routers. Our goal is to position the team of robotic routers to provide communication coverage to the remaining client robots. We allow for dynamic environments and variable client demands, thus necessitating an adaptive solution. We present an innovative method that calculates a mapping between a robot's current position and the signal strength that it receives along each spatial direction, for its wireless links to every other robot. We show that this information can be used to design a simple positional controller that retains a quadratic structure, while adapting to wireless signals in real-world environments. Notably, our approach does not necessitate stochastic sampling along directions that are counter-productive to the overall coordination goal, nor does it require exact client positions, or a known map of the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-968
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Robotics Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-robot networks
  • Wi-Fi SAR
  • adaptive communication
  • communication coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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