Research Topic

Decentralized Cooperative Aerial Multi-Robot Systems

About this Research Topic

Aerial robots have become quite popular during the last decade, due to their high maneuverability, low cost, and excellent take-off and landing capabilities, even in harsh environments. Additionally, recent technological achievements have significantly improved flight endurance and payload capabilities, resulting in the wide employment of aerial robotic vehicles in a variety of tasks, including search and rescue, object transportation, precision agriculture, area coverage and surveillance. However, the aforementioned missions usually require strict specifications in terms of accuracy, dexterity and speed of completion, which in some cases are almost impossible to meet via the deployment of a single aerial vehicle. Moreover, the risk of mission failure is significantly high due to possible critical sensor or actuation faults. Instead, the deployment of multiple vehicles may significantly speed up the task completion, improve the perception, and enhance the fault tolerance capabilities of the overall multi-robot system.

Within this Research Topic, we aim at tackling the control, perception, planning, and interaction abilities of aerial multi-robot systems, taking into consideration the limitations arising from their limited power and computational capabilities as well as the fact that their operation should not be based on a centralized architecture. The centralized approach to multi-robot operation, in which a single unit has access to every robot’s local information and issues commands to them, is not robust to faults and does not scale well as the number of robots increases. On the contrary, in this Research Topic, we focus on the decentralized multi-robot architecture, where the members of the multi-robot system's robots cooperate to achieve global tasks without the intervention of a central controller or access to global information.

This Research Topic aims at boosting research on aerial multi-robot systems and seeks articles that focus on state-of-the-art research in all related aspects. While work based on real aerial robots is preferable, we also accept work based on simulation only. The topics of interest for this Research Topic include, but are not limited to:
• Mapping, localization, and navigation for aerial multi-robot systems
• Distributed cooperative perception and active sensing with aerial multi-robot systems
• Decentralized coordination and cooperation in aerial multi-robot systems
• Distributed control and planning for aerial multi-robot systems
• Machine learning in aerial multi-robot systems
• Physical interaction in/with aerial multi-robot systems (e.g., collaborative object transportation)
• Human interaction with aerial multi-robot systems, shared autonomy, and mixed-initiative control


Keywords: Aerial Robots, Decentralized Perception, Control, Planning, Interaction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Aerial robots have become quite popular during the last decade, due to their high maneuverability, low cost, and excellent take-off and landing capabilities, even in harsh environments. Additionally, recent technological achievements have significantly improved flight endurance and payload capabilities, resulting in the wide employment of aerial robotic vehicles in a variety of tasks, including search and rescue, object transportation, precision agriculture, area coverage and surveillance. However, the aforementioned missions usually require strict specifications in terms of accuracy, dexterity and speed of completion, which in some cases are almost impossible to meet via the deployment of a single aerial vehicle. Moreover, the risk of mission failure is significantly high due to possible critical sensor or actuation faults. Instead, the deployment of multiple vehicles may significantly speed up the task completion, improve the perception, and enhance the fault tolerance capabilities of the overall multi-robot system.

Within this Research Topic, we aim at tackling the control, perception, planning, and interaction abilities of aerial multi-robot systems, taking into consideration the limitations arising from their limited power and computational capabilities as well as the fact that their operation should not be based on a centralized architecture. The centralized approach to multi-robot operation, in which a single unit has access to every robot’s local information and issues commands to them, is not robust to faults and does not scale well as the number of robots increases. On the contrary, in this Research Topic, we focus on the decentralized multi-robot architecture, where the members of the multi-robot system's robots cooperate to achieve global tasks without the intervention of a central controller or access to global information.

This Research Topic aims at boosting research on aerial multi-robot systems and seeks articles that focus on state-of-the-art research in all related aspects. While work based on real aerial robots is preferable, we also accept work based on simulation only. The topics of interest for this Research Topic include, but are not limited to:
• Mapping, localization, and navigation for aerial multi-robot systems
• Distributed cooperative perception and active sensing with aerial multi-robot systems
• Decentralized coordination and cooperation in aerial multi-robot systems
• Distributed control and planning for aerial multi-robot systems
• Machine learning in aerial multi-robot systems
• Physical interaction in/with aerial multi-robot systems (e.g., collaborative object transportation)
• Human interaction with aerial multi-robot systems, shared autonomy, and mixed-initiative control


Keywords: Aerial Robots, Decentralized Perception, Control, Planning, Interaction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 July 2020 Abstract
10 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 July 2020 Abstract
10 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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