Symbiotic multi-robot fleets for scalable resilient cyber physical systems

Mitchell, Daniel (2024) Symbiotic multi-robot fleets for scalable resilient cyber physical systems. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Humanity is currently facing challenges surrounding the operation, inspection and maintenance of current energy infrastructure and systems. These challenges include confined spaces, unstructured environments and hazardous areas to human health. Net-zero energy targets have instigated an accelerated energy transition, with the adoption of offshore wind farms due to increase, resulting in more and larger turbines. Several nuclear facilities are undergoing improvements in decommissioning to harness more information, improve site knowledge and create safer procedures. Robotics and autonomous systems are increasingly being used to address several of these problems within the energy sector. Currently, individual robotic platforms are being deployed in single, short term use cases in controlled environments with a team of engineers to evaluate the effectiveness of robotics for different use cases. This does not result in increased productivity, efficiency or value for operators of large facilities. This thesis focusses on the requirements of creating a Cyber Physical System (CPS) via a Symbiotic Multi-Robot Fleet (SMuRF) of diverse robotics and autonomous systems which operate individually or as part as a team to feed information back to a humanin-the-loop. A heterogeneous robotic fleet is used to leverage the robots capability within autonomous inspection missions where robots work as part of a team to complete the objectives of the mission. Symbiotic interactions occur autonomously across robotic platforms when elements of Cooperation, Collaboration or Corroboration (C3) are required within the mission. This can be due to reliability or resilience issues which inhibit or limit the successful completion of a mission. The orchestration of the SMuRF is implemented via a Symbiotic Digital Architecture (SDA) that permits near to real-time C3 for up to 1800 distributed robots, sensors and assets. This thesis demonstrates that the SDA enhances mission performance and intrinsic autonomy challenges in multi-robot fleet management to improve run-time safety compliance, reliability, resilience and productivity via real-world investigations with physical robotic platforms. The thesis envisions that the proposed SMuRF will assist in overcoming barriers in achieving scalable autonomy and directly benefit the objective of reducing cost, risk, and enhancing functionality to autonomous inspection, maintenance and repair operations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Aerial robots, cooperative robots, extreme environments, Legged Robots, robotic fleet management, robot teams, robotic manipulator and wheeled robots.
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Supervisor's Name: Flynn, Professor David and Imran, Professor Muhammad
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84352
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2024 15:23
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2024 08:46
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84352
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