Cooperation in a Heterogeneous Robot Swarm through Spatially Targeted Communication

  • Nithin Mathews
  • Anders Lyhne Christensen
  • Rehan O’Grady
  • Marco Dorigo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6234)


We consider a heterogeneous swarm robotic system composed of wheeled and aerial robots called foot-bots and eye-bots, respectively. The foot-bots are able to physically connect to one another autonomously and thus form collective robotic entities. Eye-bots have a privileged overview of the environment since they can fly and attach to metal ceilings. In this paper, we show how the heterogeneous swarm can benefit from cooperation. By using so-called spatially targeted communication, the eye-bot is able to communicate with selected groups of foot-bots and instruct them on how to overcome obstacles in their path by forming morphologies appropriate to the obstacle encountered. We conduct experiments in simulation to quantify separately the benefits of cooperation and of spatially targeted communication.


Completion Time Target Zone Task Completion Time Target Communication Cooperative Control 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nithin Mathews
    • 1
  • Anders Lyhne Christensen
    • 2
  • Rehan O’Grady
    • 1
  • Marco Dorigo
    • 1
  1. 1.IRIDIA, CoDEUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Instituto de TelecomunicaçõesLisbonPortugal

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