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Automated planning is the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that focuses on identifying sequences of actions allowing to reach a goal state from a given initial state. The need of using such techniques in real-world applications has brought popular languages for expressing automated planning problems to provide direct support for continuous and discrete state variables, along with changes that can be either instantaneous or durative. PDDL+ (Planning Domain Definition Language +) models support the encoding of such representations, but the resulting planning problems are notoriously difficult for AI planners to cope with due to non-linear dependencies arising from the variables and infinite search spaces. This difficulty is exacerbated by the potentially huge fully ground representations used by modern planners in order to effectively explore the search space, which can make some problems impossible to tackle.
This paper investigates two grounding techniques for PDDL+ problems, both aimed at reducing the size of the full ground representation by reasoning over the lifted, more abstract problem structure. The first method extends the simple mechanism of invariant analysis to limit the groundings of operators upfront. The second method proposes to tackle the grounding process through a PDDL+ to classical planning abstraction; this allows us to leverage the amount of research done in the classical planning area. Our empirical analysis studies the effect of these novel approaches over both real-world hybrid applications and synthetic PDDL+ problems took from standard benchmarks of the planning community; our results reveal that not only the techniques improve the running time of previous grounding mechanisms but also let the planner extend the reach to problems that were not solvable before.
Multi-Robot System (MRS) is composed of a group of robots that work cooperatively. However, Multi-Agent System (MAS) is computational systems consisting of a group of agents that interact with each other to solve a problem. The central difference between MRS and MAS is that in the first case, the agent is a robot, and in the second, it is a software. Analyzing the scientific literature, it is possible to notice that few studies address the integration between MAS and MRS. In order to achieve the interdisciplinary integration, the theoretical background of these areas must be considered in this paper, so that the integration can be applied using a case study of decentralized MRS. The objective of this MRS is to track and surround a stationary target. Also, it has been implemented and validated in the robot simulator called Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform (V-REP). In the validation of the proposed MRS, a scenario with three robots and a stationary target were defined. In the tracking task, the robot can detect the target whose position is not known a priori. When the detection occurs, the V-REP informs the target position to the robot because the environment is discretized into a grid of rectangular cells. After that, all the robots are directed to the target, and the surround task is realized. In this task, a mathematical model with direct communication between the robots was used to keep the robots equidistant therefrom and from each other.
Cloud robotics (CR) is currently a growing area in the robotic community. Indeed, the use of cloud computing to share data and resources of distributed robotic systems leads to the design and development of cloud robotic systems (CRS) which constitute useful technologies for a wide range of applications such as smart manufacturing, aid and rescue missions. However, in order to get coherent agent-to-cloud communications and efficient agent-to-agent collaboration within these CRS, there is a need to formalize the knowledge representation in CR. Hence, the use of ontologies provides a mean to define formal concepts and their relations in an interoperable way. This paper presents standard robotic ontologies and their extension in the CR domain as well as their possible implementations in the case of a real-world CR scenario.
Within the next decades, robots will need to be able to execute a large variety of tasks autonomously in a large variety of environments. To relax the resulting programming effort, a knowledge-enabled approach to robot programming can be adopted to organize information in re-usable knowledge pieces. However, for the ease of reuse, there needs to be an agreement on the meaning of terms. A common approach is to represent these terms using ontology languages that conceptualize the respective domain. In this work, we will review projects that use ontologies to support robot autonomy. We will systematically search for projects that fulfill a set of inclusion criteria and compare them with each other with respect to the scope of their ontology, what types of cognitive capabilities are supported by the use of ontologies, and which is their application domain.
The current fourth industrial revolution, or ‘Industry 4.0’ (I4.0), is driven by digital data, connectivity, and cyber systems, and it has the potential to create impressive/new business opportunities. With the arrival of I4.0, the scenario of various intelligent systems interacting reliably and securely with each other becomes a reality which technical systems need to address. One major aspect of I4.0 is to adopt a coherent approach for the semantic communication in between multiple intelligent systems, which include human and artificial (software or hardware) agents. For this purpose, ontologies can provide the solution by formalizing the smart manufacturing knowledge in an interoperable way. Hence, this paper presents the few existing ontologies for I4.0, along with the current state of the standardization effort in the factory 4.0 domain and examples of real-world scenarios for I4.0.