Robotics: Cooperation of Autonomous Robots Using Bluetooth Communication Side: 1 of 1
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The purpose of our project is to create an autonomous multi-agent
system with the Lego NXT robots. In this project we created a two-
robot system where a lead robot traces the path of a black line on the
floor using sensors and a second robot follows the first robot without
The lead robot uses a light sensor to follow
the path then translates the sensor
readings into a numerical message. This
message is then sent via Bluetooth to the
follower robot, which then decodes the
numerical message into a series of motor
The robots must be able to navigate in the given area as well as
know its absolute or relative position. This means that the
world, in which they are to act, must be simple enough for the
robots to resolve their position.
The robot utilized a black line of electrical tape to follow using
input from a light sensor. The light sensor recorded luminosity
as "light": greater than 50o% light, and as "dark": less than 50%.
This paper explores multi-agent NXT Robotics systems using a Bluetooth communication channel. The project consisted
of using Bluetooth technology to coordinate movements between two agents. The benefits of creating a swarm of robots
with individual capabilities include a more controllable system as opposed to a single and more complicated machine. The
lead robot was programmed to follow a specified path using a light sensor, then send, via Bluetooth, a message indicating
follower instructions. The sensitivity of the light sensor and the Lego Mindstorms NXT-G software limitations created
inconsistencies in the follower program. Hypotheses regarding the lack of success in the following capabilities of the
robots involve limitations of the NXT-G software. Our conclusion is that inability to adjust Bluetooth settings in the NXT-
G software is the source of miscommunication between the robots. Specifically, the ability to adjust the rate of messages
sent/received may improve overall communication.
i L r r r <
2 4b 6 7
i. The light sensor reads the intensity on a scale of 1-100oo.
a. This number is fed into a math block .
Sensor reads 50% 3. The math block converts this 1-1oo scale into a more manageable scale of 1- 5.
and turns right
4. The resulting 1- 5 reading is sent to two places:
a) To the Bluetooth "send message block"
b) To a switch containing motor commands.
5. This switch contains five tabs and within each tab contains two motor blocks and a display block. The motor
blocks are specific to the left wheel (B) and the right wheel (c).
Sensor reads <50% Light Sensor Reading Action of Motors
and turns left 1 Hard rightturn by greatly reducing powerto motorC
2 Gradual right turn by slightly reducing power to motor C
3 Straight ahead with both motors equal
4 Gradual left turn by slightly reducing powerto motor B
5 Hard left turn by greatly reducing power to motor B
6. The display will show the light sensor readings while the program runs and reveals this number on the screen
of the NXT robot.
RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) Site on Sensor Networks, Electrical Engineering Department,
and Institute of Applied Scies UNT, Denton, T.e as. This material is based rupon ork supported by 7. Ultrasonic sensor prevented the robots from running into obstacles by shutting down the program when
the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. 1132585 and the IEEE Control Systems coming within five inches of another object.
Society (CSS) Outreach Fund. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed
in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the
Robots must be able to communicate with each other in order to
cooperate and accomplish a common goal. This is achieved using
Bluetooth communication. The Lego NXT Mindstorms bricks and
software have Bluetooth capabilities to facilitate communication.
Send Message: The light sensor readings of
intensity produced a specific number in a range of
o-loo. This number was sent via Bluetooth to the
S-. ? j follower robot.
Receive Message: Once received, this number was
linked to a specific movement. For example: 1
means turn left, 4 means turn right. Any
combination or series of numbers could produce a
specific series of movements.
Limitations: The Lego NXT robots are capable of one of two
tasks: receiving a message or acting upon a message. In the case
of sending and receiving continuous messages (as with the line
follow program), the follower robot may execute a command to
turn right, but get interrupted by further incoming messages.
As our interests in space exploration increase and technology
improves, the presence of robots in our society will continue to
increase. Research in robotics and need for autonomous robots is
increasingly necessary. Our work shows that the Lego Mindstorms
robots can bridge basic programming skills with those needed to
accomplish complicated robotics tasks. We conclude that limitations
identified with the Lego NXT-G software hinder the ability to
accomplish a truly autonomous lead-follower relationship. While
sending a single message and demanding a single action is possible, a
continuous stream of messages involving specific actions requires
better coordination between robots. Bluetooth synchronization
between leader and follower robots is necessary in order to accomplish
any continuous coordinated movements, our work shows that the
NXT-G software cannot accomplish this task. Future research using
any other third party firmware and/or programming languages such as
Java or RobotC may yield more reliable results.
. ," l \ F RSIIYOF NO KI t ,.'.
Department of Electrical
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Reference the current side of this Poster.
Freeman, Elizabeth; Bell, Jesse; Namuduri, Kamesh & Costilla, Omar. Robotics: Cooperation of Autonomous Robots Using Bluetooth Communication, poster, 2013; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc181663/m1/1/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Engineering.