Swarm intelligence in bio-inspired robotics
In this report, we have explored swarm intelligence through a box-pushing task
with physical robots called e-pucks. Research on social insects has been presented
together with dierent ways of controlling autonomous robots, where combining
this knowledge has been essential in our quest to make a biological plausible ant
Inspired by ants and behavior-based robotics, we have created the system CRABS.
It is based on Brooks' subsumption architecture to control six dierent behaviors,
from a xed input-output scheme. The system is designed to easily handle adding
or removal of behavior layers. Behavior modules can also be used separately and
ported to other software or hardware platforms.
During this project we came across several hardware and software challenges in-
vestigating cooperative behavior. With the use of the simulation tool Webots, we
were able to determine e-pucks' capabilities, and through this knowledge able to
design and construct an articial food source. This operated as the box-item in the
Based on two types of sensors and two actuators (wheels), we had a strategy to
accomplish the box-pushing task following the biological principles of social insects.
The guidelines of the ant retrieving model made CRABS a self-organized system
that given three or more e-pucks, will always succeed in retrieving the box back to
the wall. The most remarkable view on this accomplishment is that is done through
the use of only stigmergy and positive/negative feedback.
One of the things we've experienced throughout this thesis is that hardware is a more
work demanding and inconsistent platform than your usual software simulation.
Everything is not given, and although Webots provided helpful shortcuts, a lot of
time and hard work was put down in order to get the system up and running. With
that being said, we are pleased that we took the hardware rout and were able to
test and validate our system on physical robots.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutt for datateknikk og informasjonsvitenskap , 2011. , 120 p.
ntnudaim:6180, MTDT datateknikk, Intelligente systemer
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-13684Local ID: ntnudaim:6180OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ntnu-13684DiVA: diva2:441753
Haddow, Pauline, Førsteamanuensis