Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In this paper, we develop an autonomous construction system in which self-contained ground robots build a protective barrier by means of compliant pockets. We present a stochastic control algorithm based on two biological mechanisms-stigmergy and templates-that takes advantage of compliant pockets for autonomous construction with single and multiple robots. The control algorithm guides the robot(s) to build the protective barrier without relying on a central planner, an external computer, or a motion capture system. We propose a statistical model to represent the structures built with the compliant pockets, and we provide a set of criteria for assessing the performance of the proposed system. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system, real-robot and simulation experiments were carried out. The results show the viability of the proposed autonomous construction system. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.