PhD Seminar Course on

Swarms of Cooperating Robots

Cagliari, 9 July 2009

Instructor: Prof. Marco Dorigo
IRIDIA, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Duration: 2 hours
Schedule: 9 July 2009
Venue: Mocci Classroom
Topics: Swarm intelligence is the discipline that deals with natural and artificial systems composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization. In particular, it focuses on the collective behaviors that result from the local interactions of the individuals with each other and with their environment. The characterizing property of a swarm intelligence system is its ability to act in a coordinated way without the presence of a coordinator or of an external controller. Swarm robotics could be defined as the application of swarm intelligence principles to the control of groups of robots. In this talk I will discuss results of Swarm-bots, an experiment in swarm robotics. A swarm-bot is an artifact composed of a swarm of assembled s-bots. The s-bots are mobile robots capable of connecting to, and disconnecting from, other s-bots. In the swarm-bot form, the s-bots are attached to each other and, when needed, become a single robotic system that can move and change its shape.S-bots have relatively simple sensors and motors and limited computational capabilities. A swarm-bot can solve problems that cannot be solved by s-bots alone.In the talk, I will shortly describe the s-bots hardware and the methodology we followed to develop algorithms for their control. Then I will focus on the capabilities of the swarm-bot robotic system by showing video recordings of some of the many experiments we performed to study coordinated movement, path formation, self-assembly, collective transport, shape formation, and other collective behaviors. I will conclude presenting initial results of the Swarmanoid experiment, an extension of swarm-bot to 3-dimensional environments.
Organizer: Prof. Luigi Raffo
Dep. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Cagliari, Italy