Trail Formation using Large Swarms of Minimal Robots

Pere Molins, Sabine Hauert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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Recent advances in robotics allow for the creation of swarms that work in large numbers. This typically requires low-cost robots with restricted sensing and noisy motion. Developing swarm controllers that are robust to such constraints could lead to applications ranging from outdoor exploration to nanomedicine.

In particular, we demonstrate that a large swarm of minimal robots, using only random motion and limited sensing capabilities, can form trails from a source to an area of interest using a mechanism inspired by diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA). We further show that the nearest area of interest is selected, and that the formed trails can avoid bypass. Validation is performed in simulation and reality using a swarm of up to 100 robots.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 34th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium On Applied Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781450359337
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019


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