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Dissertation on swarm based, networked robotic systems for emergency personnel successfully completed

On 17.05.2016 Niklas Goddemeier successfully defended his dissertation on “Communication and Cooperation Strategies for Aerial Robotic Systems”. The entire chair heartily congratulates.
Reliable networking of robotic-systems is an important requirement for their deployment in various scenarios, for example the exploration of damage situations by rescue services. Especially the usage of unmanned aircrafts as sensor- and communication-platforms offer great potential because of their wide flexibility in disaster scenarios, in which infrastructure might be heavily damaged. The system design for communication- and cooperation strategies as well as the comprehensive performance assessment and validation presented in the thesis are using model based methods, including multi-scale-simulation trough software- and hardware-in-the-loop-concepts and experiments in the field. This paper provides an excellent contribution to the international research in this field due to innovative, scientific concepts reaching a high level of maturity.


The usage of aerial robotic systems, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as innovative rescue devices has highly increased in the recent past. The challenge is to provide reliable networking and automatization of air traffic to further improve the usability of these aviation systems and by that disburden rescue teams.

In his dissertation, Niklas Goddemeier presents novel strategies for mobility, which are based on pioneering communication solutions that enable team work of heterogenic robotic swarms. The innovative mobility-approach Communication-Aware Potential Fields (CAPF) based on virtual potential-fields and calculates attracting and repulsing forces as a function of defined communication performance indicators. In combination with a distributed roll concept, individual robots of the swarm can adapt behavior and function according to their needs. The holistic system approach combines various essential aspects for the collaboration-agent-based systems. These include efficient data structures, reliable communication strategies and distributed decision making methods.

The doctoral thesis will soon be published as 15th volume of the series "Dortmunder Beiträge zu Kommunikationsnetzen und -systemen".

The picture on the right shows Nilkas Goddemeier on an international rescue exercise in Belgium, where the methods he designed were also practically tested and validated.