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PDF 2.1 MB
Pages 761-768
First published 30 July 2014

Insect-Inspired Robot Coordination: Foraging and Coverage

Sjriek Alers, Karl Tuyls, Bijan Ranjbar-Sahraei, Daniel Claes and Gerhard Weiss

Abstract (Excerpt)

In this paper we investigate coordination principles inspired by the behaviour of honeybees and ants for coordination purposes in multi-robot systems. Specifically, we study the problem instances of bee-inspired robot Foraging and ant-inspired robot Coverage, where Foraging is the problem of exploring the environment in search of food or provisions and Coverage is the problem of deploying a robotic swarm in the environment with the task of maximising the sensor coverage of the environment. To effectively and efficiently solve both problems, distributed multi-robot coordination is required. For the first problem we investigate a bee-inspired solution method. The second problem is studied using a stigmergic approach. In an extensive set of experiments we first study the feasibility of the proposed multi-robot coordination for robotic swarms with extended resources and discuss the benefits and limitations of using these swarms. Furthermore, as the downsizing in swarm robotics becomes increasingly important with ongoing miniaturization in various applications, the feasibility of the proposed coordination techniques for robotic swarms with limited resources is studied in detail; the practical requirements for overcoming the limitations of these swarms are introduced and the main need to incorporate these robots in real world experiments is discussed.