Fundamental Collective Behaviors in Swarm Robotics

In this chapter, we present and discuss a num- ber of types of fundamental collective behaviors studied within the swarm robotics domain. Swarm robotics is a particular approach to the design and study of multi-robot systems, which empha- sizes decentralized and self-organizing behavior that deals with limited individual abilities, local sensing, and local communication. The desired features for a swarm robotics system are flexibility to variable environmental conditions, robustness to failure, and scalability to large groups. These can be achieved thanks to well-designed collec- tive behavior - often obtained via some sort of bio-inspired approach - that relies on cooperation among redundant components. In this chapter, we discuss the solutions proposed for a limited num- ber of problems common to many swarm robotics systems - namely aggregation, synchronization, coordinated motion, collective exploration, and decision making. We believe that many real-word applications subsume one or more of these prob- lems, and tailored solutions can be developed starting from the studies we review in this chapter. Finally, we propose possible directions for future research and discuss the relevant challenges to be addressed in order to push forward the study and the applications of swarm robotics systems.

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Springer Handbook of Computational Intelligence, pp. 1377–1394, 2015
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