The universe can be seen as comprising pools of intelligence packaged as homogeneous and heterogeneous entities that are manifest as biological and non-biological agents. These agents include human beings, insects, Pisces, computers, robots, and trees, among many others. From the less intelligent independent systems, applications have increasingly adopted a trend where more and more sophisticated intelligent entities are implemented as collaborating systems while tackling joint missions.
There has recently been increased research on autonomous agents and multiagent systems that is fueled by the expectation that, in the near future, environments will be populated with multitudes of autonomous agents. From basic household chores and entertainment systems to factories and warehouses to even more complex space and planetary outpost exploration missions, societies of agents are finding increasing use.
As sophistication and autonomy gain root in diverse intelligent agents, it is imperative that these pools of capabilities are meaningfully managed, coordinated, and leveraged for the common and greater system goal. It is for that reason that it is important to understand the trends and strategies of coordination of distributed multi-robotic agent systems.
This work attempts to explore coordination both within the agent at a behavioral level as well as within societies of agents. It is in recognition of the need to leverage the sum benefit of the individual unique abilities for the team, both in current and the future multiagent systems, that this work finds relevance, now and in the future. A survey of the past and current strategies gives us a picture of the evolution of robotic coordination, and importantly, what directions are likely for coordinating team intelligence for better results in whichever fields of implementations.
The efficient coordination of the agent intelligence basic building blocks, i.e., behaviors, is key to the overall efficient coordination of team intelligence. Teams without purposeful coordination are akin to rudderless ships and only result in chaos, but teams in harmonization of their individual capabilities can form an efficient system with superior results.