Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

This paper reports on the design and implementation of a multi-abstraction level autonomous control system using the Intelligent Distributed Execution Architecture (IDEA). The basic hypothesis of IDEA is that a large control system can be structured as a collection of interacting control agents, each organized around the same fundamental structure. The control system consists of two IDEA agents, a System level agent and a Mission level agent, and operates the K9 planetary rover prototype in real-time. The system is evaluated in the scenario where the rover must acquire images from a specified set of locations. The IDEA agents are responsible for enabling the rover to achieve its goals while monitoring the execution and safety of the rover and recovering from dangerous states when necessary. Experiments carried out, both in simulation and on the physical rover, produced highly promising results. The rover successfully accomplished its goal while correctly responding to successive alarms. The performance analysis indicates that the system level agent can achieve a 1-2Hz control rate on a 300MHz Pentium, adequate for slow-moving planetary rovers.

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