Comparison of the Behavior of Swarm Robots with their Computer Simulations Applying Target-Searching Algorithms

Vivienne Jia Zhong, Rolf Dornberger, and Thomas Hanne
Institute for Information Systems, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Basel/Olten, Switzerland
Abstract—This paper investigates the functionality and quality of the implementation of a search- and target-surrounding swarm robotic algorithm using physical swarm robots named Kilobots. The implementation was developed and tested in the simulator V-REP, then transferred onto the actually running Kilobots: Ten Kilobots were used for the experiment, where one Kilobot acts as the target and nine Kilobots act as the searchers. The algorithm allows the searchers to swarm out to find the target while avoiding collisions with other searchers, to orbit around other searchers, which are closer to the target, and finally to surround the target once it is found. The results of the implementation using the physical Kilobots are compared with the results of two adjusted computer simulations. Differences between the simulations and the real robot implementation are investigated: Discrepancies regarding the locomotion and the communication capabilities are identified and discussed.

Index Terms — search-surrounding swarm algorithm, target-surrounding swarm algorithm, collective behavior, swarm robotics, swarm intelligence, Kilobot

Cite: Vivienne Jia Zhong, Rolf Dornberger, and Thomas Hanne, "Comparison of the Behavior of Swarm Robots with their Computer Simulations Applying Target-Searching Algorithms," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp. 507-514, September 2018. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.7.5.507-514
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