Gesturing at Subswarms: Towards Direct Human Control of Robot Swarms

  • Gaëtan Podevijn
  • Rehan O’Grady
  • Youssef S. G. Nashed
  • Marco Dorigo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8069)


The term human-swarm interaction (HSI) refers to the interaction between a human operator and a swarm of robots. In this paper, we investigate HSI in the context of a resource allocation and guidance scenario. We present a framework that enables direct communication between human beings and real robot swarms, without relying on a secondary display. We provide the user with a gesture-based interface that allows him to issue commands to the robots. In addition, we develop algorithms that allow robots receiving the commands to display appropriate feedback to the user. We evaluate our framework both in simulation and with real-world experiments. We conduct a summative usability study based on experiments in which participants must guide multiple subswarms to different task locations.


Graphical User Interface Human Operator Real Robot System Usability Scale Robot Swarm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially supported by the European Research Council through the ERC Advanced Grant “E-SWARM: Engineering Swarm Intelligence Systems” (contract 246939). Rehan O’Grady and Marco Dorigo acknowledge support from the Belgian F.R.S.-FNRS.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaëtan Podevijn
    • 1
  • Rehan O’Grady
    • 1
  • Youssef S. G. Nashed
    • 2
  • Marco Dorigo
    • 1
  1. 1.IRIDIA, CoDEUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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