A fault-tolerant wireless distributed computing platform for robot swarms
Rossouw, Pieter Jozua
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A novel use of drone swarms was demonstrated by Intel during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics when hundreds of LED-equipped drones flew in precise formation to create a visual spectacle. This show was controlled and coordinated from a central control system that was responsible for all processing. From a systems architecture perspective, this system represents a single point of failure in their system. In order to determine whether a decentralised implementation could replace the centralised control hub, a process of iterative systems architecture is conducted. The aim of the research is to produce a fault-tolerant wireless distributed computing platform. The creation of this artefact is guided by the design and creation methodology. The final iteration of the artefact enhances fault-tolerance by leveraging container orchestration, microservice architecture, event-streaming and an IEEE 802.11s wireless mesh network. The artefact was constructed using affordable commodity hardware and open-source software and demonstrated fault-tolerance in several scenarios while facilitating wireless distributed computing.