The Caltech Multi-Vehicle Wireless Testbed

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Lars Cremean, William Dunbar, David van Gogh, Jason Hickey, Eric Klavins, Jason Meltzer, Richard M. Murray
2002 Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)

In this paper we introduce the Caltech Multi-Vehicle Wireless Testbed (MVWT), a platform for testing decentralized control methodologies for multiple vehicle coordination and formation stabilization. The testbed consists of eight mobile vehicles, an overhead vision system providing GPS-like position information and wireless Ethernet for communications. Each vehicle rests on omni-direction casters and is powered by two high-performance ducted fans. Thus, a unique feature of our testbed is that the vehicles have second order dynamics, requiring real-time feedback algorithms to stabilize the system while performing cooperative tasks. The testbed will be used by various research groups at Caltech and elsewhere as a means to validate theoretical advances in multiple-vehicle coordination and control, networked control systems, real time networking and high confidence distributed computation.

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