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R. O'Grady, A. Christensen, and M. Dorigo. SWARMORPH: Multi-Robot Morphogenesis using Directional Self-Assembly. Technical Report TR/IRIDIA/2008-001, IRIDIA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, January 2008.

Abstract

We propose SWARMORPH: a novel distributed mechanism that allows autonomous mobile robots to self-assemble into specific morphologies. SWARMORPH control logic is completely decentralized. We achieve self-organized growth of global morphological structures through the repeated application of strictly local pattern extension rules — each robot that joins the morphology applies the same set of pattern extension rules to extend the local structure appropriately. The pattern extension rules rely on an underlying directional self-assembly mechanism that provides control over the location and orientation of inter-robot connections. We use the SWARM-BOT robotic platform. We construct four example morphologies with seven real robots in repeated sets of real-world experiments. We quantify the precision of the directional self-assembly mechanism and perform a timing analysis of morphology growth. We demonstrate the scalability of the approach with larger numbers of robots in further sets of simulation-based experiments.


Updated: 2017-03-27