Project Summary

The main goal of the project is the study of hierarchical communication and control strategies for swarms of heterogeneous robots, which, despite the differences among sub-groups, coherently operate in an integrated manner to achieve a common goal. This will be achieved by looking at how Nature structures and organises large groups, such as ant colonies or honeybee swarms.
Natural systems are characterised by different types of hierarchical organisation (physical, spatial, functional, informational) which evolved to be tightly integrated and to ensure the survival of the system as a single unit.

The H2SWARM project aims at studying: 

  • the evolution of cooperative behaviours in hierarchical heterogeneous organisations, and
  • the mechanisms that support hierarchical organisations in social insects

More specifically, advances of the state-of-the-art in evolutionary biology and social ethology are expected to be achieved by testing theories about the evolution of cooperation in social systems and combining the with the state-of-the art in swarm robotics by implementing new mechanisms that support cooperation within heterogeneous swarms. Testing will be performed using concrete scenarios that involve foraging and 3D construction.

Participating Researchers

Dr. Stefano Nolfi (Project Leader)
Laboratory of Autonomous Robotics and Artificial Life, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council, Roma, Italy

Prof. Tom Wenseleers (Principal Investigator)
K.U.Leuven, Department of Biology, Section of Animal Ecology & Systematics, Leuven, Belgium

Dr. Marco Dorigo (Principal Investigator)
Université Libre de Bruxelles, IRIDIA, Brussels, Belgium

Dr. Francesco Mondada (Principal Investigator)
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Laboratoire de systèmes robotiques, Lausanne, Switzerland