When is it profitable for robots to forage collectively? Here we compare the ability of swarms of simulated bio-inspired robots to forage either collectively or individually. The conditions under which recruitment (where one robot alerts another to the location of a resource) is profitable are characterised, and explained in terms of the impact of three types of interference between robots (physical, environmental, and informational). Key factors determining swarm performance include resource abundance, the reliability of shared informa- tion, time limits on foraging, and the ability of robots to cope with congestion around discovered resources and around the base location. Additional experiments introducing odometry noise indicate that collective foragers are more susceptible to odometry error.
|Title of host publication||Artificial Life XIV: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems|
|Editors||Hod Lipson, Hiroki Sayama, John Rieffel, Sebastian Risi, Rene Doursat|
|Publisher||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Press|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|