A practical solution based on multi-agent protocols for the development of real-world multi-robot applications is presented. FIPA standard protocols implemented by the JADE library provide the standard functionality for a number of tasks. Robot behaviors are built upon the Player middleware. Such components provide off-the-shelf tools which allow a straightforward implementation of indoor localization and navigation tasks for a team of mobile robots. Such integration combines proven mobile robot algorithms with a distributed infrastructure, and extends the capabilities from a robot alone to a whole team of robots, thus allowing the development of cooperative applications. As a proof of concept, an auction-like goal assignment task is presented: the robot team is given a goal, and each robot proposes an estimated cost for achieving it, then the best proposal is selected. Most of the control flow is automated by the standard interaction protocols. Experimental evaluation demonstrates the advantages of combining both frameworks, for a practical yet sound development of multi-robot applications.
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