Designing robot swarms

 
Multi-robot engineering is difficult, as it often requires a ``bottom-up'' approach to behavioural design. The emergent macro behaviour of the swarm is specified and evaluated, but it is the micro behaviour of individual robots that needs to be programmed. Furthermore, the relationship between these two levels is often somewhat opaque. This project looks at the challenges involved in modeling, understanding and designing of multi-robot systems.

Research outputs


  • Development of the Information-Cost-Reward (ICR) framework that provides an abstract, information-based account of swarm behavior
  • Development of the Behaviour-Data-Relations Modeling Language (BDRML) in which robot behaviours and data, as well as relationships between them are explicitely represented, both visually and textually. The language facilitates a formal definition of swarm robotics design patterns and of rules for combining multiple design patterns into a robot control strategy
  • Creation of the swarm robotics design patterns catalogue, currently for collective foraging and task allocation

Publications


Journal papers


Publication: Pitonakova, L., Crowder, R. & Bullock, S. (2017). The Information-Cost-Reward framework for understanding robot swarm foraging. Swarm Intelligence, DOI: 10.1007/s11721-017-0148-3.

Pitonakova, L., Crowder, R. & Bullock, S. (2016). Information flow principles for plasticity in foraging robot swarms. Swarm Intelligence, 10(1), 33–63.

Conference papers (peer reviewed)


Pitonakova, L., Crowder, R. & Bullock, S. (2017). Behaviour-Data Relations Modelling Language For Multi-Robot Control Algorithms. Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017), IEEE, 727-732.

Pitonakova, L., Crowder R. & Bullock, S. (2016). Task allocation in foraging robot swarms: The Role of Information Sharing. In Gershenson, C. et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE XV), MIT Press, 306-313.

Pitonakova, L., Crowder R. & Bullock, S. (2014). Understanding the role of recruitment in collective robot foraging. In Lipson, H. et al. (eds.), The Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE 14), MIT Press, 264-271.

Other


Pitonakova, L. (2016) Design Patterns for Robot Swarms. PhD thesis.

Selected talks and posters


2017: Behaviour-Data Relations Modelling Language For Multi-Robot Control Algorithms: The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017), Vancouver, Canada

2017: Designing Robot Swarms: a talk at the Southwest Futurists, Bristol.

2015: Design Patterns for Swarms of Robot Foragers: The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2015), Hamburg, Germany

2015: Towards Design Patterns for Robot Swarms: invited talk at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol, United Kingdom

2014: Understanding the Role of Recruitment in Collective Robot Foraging: The Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE 14)

2014: Understanding the Role of Recruitment in Collective Robot Foraging: annual Complex Systems DTC meeting, University of Southampton

2013: Information Exchange and Coordination in Robot Swarms: annual Agents, Interaction and Complexity meeting, University of Southampton

Essays


2013: Foraging Strategies in Nature and Their Application to Swarm Robotics

2010: Does Communication Make a Difference?