January 30, 2023
The Symbiotic Operation Control Module, the strength of the collective.
SOCM, or Symbiotic Operation Control Module, is the way to create virtual robots able to integrate their different capabilities in order to carry out tasks that either cannot be done by a single robot or because it will be more efficient to do it by combining several functionalities of several robots. INTREPID’s entity responsible for this module is CERTH.
As an example of this symbiosis, one may imagine drones (UAV), which are not able to open a door. In order for a drone to scan an area that is block by a closed door, a terrain robot (UGV) should assist and open the door. SOCM will handle the sequencing of the different mini tasks, once the drone has been given the mission to scan a closed area. SOCM will ask the UGV to come in to help an unblock drone’s way by opening the door. By combining their functionalities, the drone can enter the premises and do the scanning.
In more detail, the overall procedures that will take place are the followings:
Symbiotic Operation Control Module (SOCM) is used for:
The SOCM is based on the intrinsic capabilities of the robots (e.g., I am a UAV, I can't open a door by myself) but also constrained on other objectives such as doing the final task faster in time or wasting as little energy as possible.
For instance, if the commanding officer want to launch a task, the IAM will try to understand the best agents possible for the work. At this time, it will be decided if SOCM or Mission Controller (MC) will need to take the lead. Therefore, the SOCM divides the instructions for each robot in order to complete the task in the best way possible based on the aforementioned criteria...
Right now, SOCM is using a combination of rule-based criteria and deep learning techniques. INTREPID’s aim is to integrate rules into the training process of the deep learning algorithms built to support SOCM.
During Pilot 3, the next and last Pilot, 2 SOCM missions should be tested: symbiotic scan area and collaboration UAV-UGV charging.