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Technical Report

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Abstract or Description

As we progress towards a world where robots play an integral role, a critical problem that remains to be solved is that of dynamically formed heterogeneous robot teams where little information is known a-priori about the tasks, the robots, and the environments in which they will operate. We define this challenge as the Pickup Team Challenge. Successful solutions to forming pickup teams will enable researchers to experiment with larger numbers of robots; beyond what they can support and maintain. Additionally, enabling such teams will have a large impact on the ability of industry to efficiently and cost-effectively integrate new robot technology with existing legacy teams. In this paper, we define the challenge of pickup teams and relate its importance to multi-robot research. In our prior work, we have developed techniques for effective collaboration using marketbased techniques and for synchronizing team activity through plays. We build on these prior approaches to move towards a complete system that is able to allocate roles amongst robots in a pickup team, and to execute synchronized team actions to accomplish a complex task.

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