Swarmanoid: a novel concept for the study of heterogeneous robotic swarms

Dorigo, Marco and Floreano, Dario and Gambardella, Luca Maria and Mondada, Francesco and Nolfi, Stefano and Baaboura, Tarek and Birattari, Mauro and Bonani, Michael and Brambilla, Manuele and Brutschy, Arne and Burnier, Daniel and Campo, Alexandre and Christensen, Anders Lyhne and Decugnière, Antal and Di Caro, Gianni and Ducatelle, Frederick and Ferrante, Eliseo and Foerster, Alexander Uwe and Guzzi, Jerome and Longchamp, Valentin and Magnenat, Stéphane and Gonzalez Martinez, Javier and Mathews, Nithin and de Oca Montes, Marco and O'Grady, Rehan and Pinciroli, Carlo and Pini, Giovanni and Rétornaz, Philippe and Roberts, James and Sperati, Valerio and Stirling, Timothy and Stranieri, Alessandro and Stuetzle, Thomas and Trianni, Vito and Tuci, Elio and Turgut, Ali Emre and Vaussard, Florian (2013) Swarmanoid: a novel concept for the study of heterogeneous robotic swarms. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine , 20 (4). pp. 60-71. ISSN 1070-9932

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Swarm robotics systems are characterized by decentralized control, limited communication between robots, use of local information, and emergence of global behavior. Such systems have shown their potential for flexibility and robustness. However, existing swarm robotics systems are by and large still limited to displaying simple proof-of-concept behaviors under laboratory conditions. It is our contention that one of the factors holding back swarm robotics research is the almost universal insistence on homogeneous system components. We believe that swarm robotics designers must embrace heterogeneity if they ever want swarm robotics systems to approach the complexity required of real-world systems.

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