Physical Interactions in Swarm Robotics: The Hand-Bot Case Study

  • Michael BonaniEmail author
  • Philippe Rétornaz
  • Stéphane Magnenat
  • Hannes Bleuler
  • Francesco Mondada
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 83)


This paper presents a case-study on the performance achieved by the mechanical interactions of self-assembling mobile robots. This study is based on the hand-bot robot, designed to operate within heterogeneous swarms of robots. The hand-bot is specialized in object manipulation and can improve its performance by exploiting physical collaborations by self-assembling with other hand-bots or with foot-bots (ground robots). The paper analyzes the achieved performance and demonstrates the highly super-linear properties of the accessible volume in respect to the number of robots. These extremely interesting performances are strongly linked to the self-assembling mechanisms and the physical nature of the interaction, and do not scale to a large number of robots. Finally, this study suggests that such interesting properties are more accessible for heterogeneous systems or devices achieving complex tasks.


Mobile Robot Object Manipulation Attachment System Modular Robot Swarm Robotic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bonani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philippe Rétornaz
    • 1
  • Stéphane Magnenat
    • 2
  • Hannes Bleuler
    • 1
  • Francesco Mondada
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Sytèmes RobotiquesEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Autonomous System LabETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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