Reactive Virtual Forces for Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Swarm Exploration and Mapping

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10454)


Exploration and mapping of unknown environments is a vibrant topic of research in the robotics community. Virtual potential fields have been used in prior research largely for spatial distribution, path planning and pattern formation. These fields involve the use of functions, often grounded in physics, to generate virtual potential fields that may be used to guide robots. It is the contention of this paper that a similar ‘virtual reactive forces’ method may be used for exploration and mapping, in combination with the already established occupancy grid method. This process involves the use of multiple virtual forces, based on the fundamental forces of nature, to guide robots in collision avoidance, exploration, and mapping. This paper compares the effectiveness of this method on heterogeneous and homogeneous swarms.


Swarm Mapping Reactive virtual forces Heterogeneous Homogeneous Exploration Virtual potential fields 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bristol Robotics LaboratoryUniversity of BristolBristolEngland
  2. 2.Bristol Robotics LaboratoryUniversity of the West of England (UWE)BristolEngland

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