Multi-Head Path Planning of SwarmItFIX Agents: A Markov Decision Process Approach

  • Satheeshkumar Veeramani
  • Sreekumar MuthuswamyEmail author
  • Keerthi Sagar
  • Matteo Zoppi
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 73)


SwarmItFIX is a flexible fixturing system designed and developed for sheet metal manufacturing applications. In this work, an artificial intelligence technique developed based on Markov Decision Process (MDP) is implemented for the task of multi-head based fixturing suitable for operations such as drilling, milling etc. The trajectory of the machining tool is split into various line segments for the ease of applying the MDP. The MDP is applied for obtaining the state parameters such as position coordinates and orientation of the intermediate heads of all the segments individually. The state parameters of the corner heads are calculated directly by finding the intersection angles of consecutive segments. In MDP, the evolution of utility values of all states are obtained using value iteration algorithm. For the convergence of the optimal policy of all segments in the contour, the policy iteration algorithm is employed. The execution time of both the algorithms were observed. Finally, the multi-head path planning model has been developed based on the algorithm having least execution time. The model returns the optimal policies for all the segments. Computer simulations are performed, and the results show that the multi-robot heads could be positioned in an effective manner in the given trajectory. Therefore, in near future the developed multi-head path planning model will be tested and implemented into the SwarmItFIX setup at the PMAR laboratory, University of Genoa.


SwarmItFIX Multi-head path planning Markov decision process Policy iteration Value iteration 


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This work is an outcome of the sponsored project (Project No: MEC/DIMEUG-ITALY/2015-16/MSK/008/02) supported by the University of Genoa, Italy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM)Kancheepuram, ChennaiIndia
  2. 2.PMAR Robotics GroupUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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