AntAlate is a software framework for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) autonomy, designed to streamline and facilitate the work of application developers, particularly in deployment of Multi-Agent Robotic Systems (MARS). We created AntAlate in order to bring our research in the field of multi-agent systems from theoretical results to both advanced simulations and to real-life demonstrations. Creating a framework capable of catering to MARS applications requires support for distributed, decentralized, control using local sensing, performed autonomously by groups of identical anonymous agents. Though mainly interested in the emergent behavior of the system as a whole, we focused on the single agent and created a framework suitable for a system of systems approach, while minimizing the hardware requirements of the single agent. Global observers or even a centralized control can be added on top of AntAlate, but the framework does not require a global actor to finalize an application. The same applies to a human in the loop, and fully autonomous UAV applications can be written in as straightforward a way as can semi-autonomous applications. In this paper we describe the AntAlate framework and demonstrate its utility and versatility.
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