Swarm Metaverse for Multi-Level Autonomy Using Digital Twins

Hung Nguyen, Aya Hussein, Matthew A. Garratt, Hussein A. Abbass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Robot swarms are becoming popular in domains that require spatial coordination. Effective human control over swarm members is pivotal for ensuring swarm behaviours align with the dynamic needs of the system. Several techniques have been proposed for scalable human–swarm interaction. However, these techniques were mostly developed in simple simulation environments without guidance on how to scale them up to the real world. This paper addresses this research gap by proposing a metaverse for scalable control of robot swarms and an adaptive framework for different levels of autonomy. In the metaverse, the physical/real world of a swarm symbiotically blends with a virtual world formed from digital twins representing each swarm member and logical control agents. The proposed metaverse drastically decreases swarm control complexity due to human reliance on only a few virtual agents, with each agent dynamically actuating on a sub-swarm. The utility of the metaverse is demonstrated by a case study where humans controlled a swarm of uncrewed ground vehicles (UGVs) using gestural communication, and via a single virtual uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). The results show that humans could successfully control the swarm under two different levels of autonomy, while task performance increases as autonomy increases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4892
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSensors
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

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