A distributed algorithm for gathering many fat mobile robots in the plane
SourceProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
2013 ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2013
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We revisit the problem of gathering autonomous robots in the plane. In particular, we consider non-transparent unit-disc robots (i.e., fat) in an asynchronous setting with vision as the only means of coordination and robots only make local decisions. We use a state-machine representation to formulate the gathering problem and develop a distributed algorithm that solves the problem for any number of fat robots. The main idea behind the algorithm is to enforce the robots to reach a configuration in which all the following hold: (i) The robots' centers form a convex hull in which all robots are on the convex hull's boundary(ii) Each robot can see all other robots(iii) The configuration is connected: every robot touches another robot and all robots form together a connected formation. We show that starting from any initial configuration, the fat robots eventually reach such a configuration and terminate yielding a solution to the gathering problem. Copyright 2013 ACM.