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Paul Glotfelter

Paul Glotfelter is a Robotics Ph.D. student in the GRITS lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, having previously received a B.S. in computer engineering from York College of Pennsylvania. His work on the Robotarium involves backend software development, communication infrastructures, and user accessibility. His current research focuses on composition and satisfaction of system-level objectives and constraints for multi-robot systems.

Figure 8: Example of a 15 robot swarm of GRITSBots on the arena surface of the second instantiation of the Robotarium.

When developing algorithms for coordinating the behaviors of swarms of robots it is crucial that the algorithms are actually deployed and tested on real hardware platforms. Unfortunately, building and maintaining a swarm robotics testbed is a resource-intense proposition and, as a consequence, resources rather than ideas tend to be the bottleneck and swarm robotics research does not progress at the rate it could. The Robotarium sets out to remedy this problem by providing remote access to a large team of robots, where users can upload their code, run the experiments remotely, and get the scientific data back. This article describes the structure and architecture of the Robotarium as well as discusses what constitutes an effective, remotely accessible research platform.

This paper won the IEEE Robotics & Automation Best Multi-Robot Systems Award at ICRA 2017.