Self-assembly on demand in a group of physical autonomous mobile robots navigating rough terrain
O'Grady Rehan, Groß Roderich, Mondada Francesco, Bonani Michael, Dorigo Marco


Consider a group of autonomous, mobile robots with the ability to physically connect to one another (self-assemble). The group is said to exhibit functional self-assembly if the robots can choose to self-assemble in response to the demands of their task and environment. We present the first robotic controller capable of functional self-assembly implemented on a real robotic platform. The task we consider requires a group of robots to navigate over an area of unknown terrain towards a target light source. If possible, the robots should navigate to the target independently. If, however, the terrain proves too difficult for a single robot, the robots should self-assemble into a larger group entity and collectively navigate to the target. We believe this to be one of the most complex tasks carried out to date by a team of physical autonomous robots. We present quantitative results confirming the efficacy of our controller. This puts our robotic system at the cutting edge of autonomous mobile multi-robot research.

Swarm-bots project started
on October 1,2001
The project terminated
on March 31, 2005.
Last modified:
Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:26:47 +0200
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