Networked Cooperative Autonomous Systems - IEEE T-ASE

Special Issue Networked Cooperative Autonomous Systems

A special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.


Recent advances in networked cooperative autonomous systems offer the potential to significantly improve quality for manufacturing and other industrial applications. Advances in embedded processor, sensor, communication and networking technology in the last few decades have accelerated interest in networked cooperative autonomous systems, multi-robot systems and distributed sensor networks for applications such as manufacturing, logistics, process monitoring and enhanced situational awareness, plant safety, inspection, security, and rescue operations. The advances that have made individual robots and autonomous systems more practical have enabled the research on and the development of cooperative systems, where capabilities are expressed by the team rather than by a super-capable individual. This is especially relevant in complex tasks that require capabilities that are varied in both quantity and difficulty, such as goods transportation, distributed assembly, vehicle coordination strategies, and infrastructure inspection. Moreover, one of the main advantages of having a team of robots or autonomous systems, instead of a super-capable individual, is in the increased reliability due to redundancy. Performance metrics may be used to evaluate the increases in quality (including reliability, efficiency, and reduced costs) achievable through use of networked cooperative autonomous systems. Despite the many worldwide R&D efforts focused on networked cooperative robots and autonomous systems, with lots of experimental implementations in tamed laboratory environments (e.g. Robot Soccer), there are few examples of successful full-scale deployments of these systems in real-world application environments. Specifically, pioneering applications of networked cooperative autonomous systems can be found for good delivery in the logistics departments of a few large companies (see, for instance, systems developed by Kiva). Other preliminary successful applications are in the field of mining, where the Australian research agency CSIRO has promoted the deployment of multi-robot systems, even though these systems are not completely autonomous.

The goal of this special issue is to gather recent achievements in the networked cooperative autonomous systems field obtained by researchers from academia, government research labs, and industry. The objectives are to identify the most promising solutions towards moving networked cooperative autonomous systems out of the research laboratories and into the real world. The central theme of the special issue will be real world applications of networked cooperative autonomous systems. This theme is strongly interdisciplinary, involving competencies from several science fields, such as: sensor networks, distributed information and control/coordination systems (including cloud robotics), and systems engineering. Therefore, a special issue devoted to it will be of high interest both for the academic and industrial communities, and will therefore be attractive for IEEE T-ASE.

Scope, Description, and More Information

The central theme of the Special Issue will be real world applications of networked cooperative autonomous systems. The goals of the special issue are (1) to present the state-of-the-art research in control of networked cooperative autonomous systems applied to real world problems, and (2) to provide a forum for experts to disseminate their recent advances and views on future perspectives in the field. The special issue aims to publish original, significant and visionary papers describing innovative applications in the field of networked cooperative autonomous systems. Although valuable theoretical achievements are highly desirable, applied results are highly encouraged (principally but not restricted to manufacturing), with experimental validation on real networked cooperative autonomous systems, or on highly realistic simulation environments. Submissions of scientific results from experts in academia and industry worldwide are strongly encouraged. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  •  Industrial applications of networked cooperative robots and autonomous systems systems: multi-vehicle systems for logistics, infrastructure inspection, cooperative transportation, task assignment for multi-robot systems, decentralized traffic management
  • Interaction with networked cooperative autonomous systems: Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) for networked cooperative robot systems, teleoperation of networked systems, coexistence of inter-robot cooperation and remote surveillance.
  •  Sharing information among multiple autonomous systems: cooperative data fusion, semantic representation of the environment, cooperative decision making, exploration for infrastructure inspection and enhanced situational awareness, mobile-ad-hoc-networks (MANET) and communication efficiency, cloud computing
  •  Heterogeneous networked cooperative robot systems: cooperation of robots with physical and/or behavioral differences, heterogeneous cooperative sensing
  •  Coordination schemes for networked cooperative autonomous systems: centralized and distributed architectures, coordination mechanisms like voting, auction, consensus, or game-theoretic and bio-inspired approaches
  •  Evaluation of the effectiveness of networked cooperative autonomous systems on quality: benchmarking methods, definition of performance indices, measurement and evaluation strategies

Important Dates

  • Call for papers: February 15, 2014
  • Deadline for Paper Submission: September 1, 2014
  • First Review: December 1, 2014
  • Final Review: May 1, 2015
  • Publication: July 2015

Guest Editors

Lorenzo Sabattini
Lead Guest Editor
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Frank Ehlers
Guest Editor

Don Sofge
Guest Editor
Navy Center for Applied Research in Artifical Intelligence

Yu Sun
University of Toronto

Short Description: 
Networked Cooperative Autonomous Systems - IEEE T-ASE
Upcoming event: 
Monday, 15 September, 2014