Spatial Macroscopic Models of a Bio-Inspired Robotic Swarm Algorithm

Heiko Hamann, Heinz Wörn, Karl Crailsheim, Thomas Schmickl
in IEEE/RSJ 2008 International Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems (IROS'08) (2008), 1415-1420


              We present a comparative study of two spatially
resolved macroscopic models of an autonomous robotic swarm.
In previous experiments, the collective behavior of 15 au-
tonomous swarm robots, driven by a simple bio-inspired control
algorithm, was investigated: In two different environmental
conditions, the ability of the robots to aggregate below a light
source was tested. Distinct approaches to predict the dynamics
of the spatial distribution were made by two different modeling
approaches: One model was constructed in a compartmental
manner (ODEs). In parallel, a space-continuous model (PDEs)
was constructed. Both models show a high degree of similarity
concerning the modeling of concrete environmental factors
(light), but due to their different basic approaches, show also
significant differences in their implementation. However, the
predictions of both models compare well to the observed
behavior of the robotic swarm, thus both models can be used to
develop further extensions of the algorithm as well as different
experimental setups without the need to run extensive real
robotic preliminary experiments.

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