A Bio-inspired Multi-Robot Coordination Approach

Yan Meng, Ọlọrundamilọla Kazeem, Jing Gan


In this paper, a bio-inspired stigmergy-based coordination approach is proposed for a distributed multi-robot system. This approach is inspired from the behavior of social insect swarming, where social insect colonies are able to build sophisticated structures and regulate the activities of millions of individuals by endowing each individual with simple rules based on local perception. A virtual pheromone mechanism is proposed as the message passing coordination scheme among the robots. The proposed algorithm has been implemented on embodied robot simulator Player/Stage, and the simulation results show the feasibility, robustness, and scalability of the methods under different dynamic environments with real-world constraints.


  1. M.J.B. Krieger, J. B. Billeter, and L. Keller, “Ant-like Task Allocation and Recruitment in Cooperative Robots,” Nature, Vol. 406, 2000, pp. 992-995.
  2. M. J. Mataric, M. Nilsson, and K. T. Simsarian, “Cooperative Multi-robot Box-Pushing”, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 1995.
  3. A. Martinoli, A. J. Ijspeert, and F. Mondada, “Understanding Collective Aggregation Mechanisms: From Probabilistic Modeling to Experiments with Real Robots”, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol. 29, pp. 51-63, 1999.
  4. T. Balch and R. C. Arkin, “Behavior-based Formation Control for Multi-robot Teams”, IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation, 1999.
  5. B. Yamauchi, “Decentralized Coordination for Multi-robot Exploration”, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 111-118, 1999.
  6. T. Weigel, J. S. Gutmann, m. Dietl, A. Kleiner, and B. Nebel, “CS Freiburg: Coordinating Robots for Successful Soccer Playing”, Special Issue on Advances in Multi-Robot Systems, T. Arai, E. Pagello, and L. E. Parker, Editors, IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 18, No.5, pp. 685-699, 2002.
  7. C.A.C. Parker and H. Zhang, “Collective Robotic Site Preparation”. Adaptive Behavior. Vol.14, No. 1, 2006, pp. 5-19.
  8. O.E. Holland and C. Melhuish, “Stigmergy, Self-Organization, and Sorting in Collective Robotics”, Artificial Life, Vol. 5, pp. 173-202, 1999.
  9. R. L. Stewart and R. A. Russell. “A Distributed Feedback Mechanism to Regulate Wall Construction by a Robotic Swarm”. Adaptive Behavior. 14(1):21-51, 2006.
  10. C. W. Reynolds, “Flocks, Herds, and Schools: A Distributed Behavioral Model”, Computer Graphics, 21(4), July 1987, pp. 25-34.
  11. C. R. Ward, F. Gobet, and G. Kendall. “Evolving collective behavior in an artificial ecology”. Artificial Life, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2001, pp.191-209.
  12. L. Spector, J. Klein, C. Perry, and M.D. Feinstein. “Emergence of collective behavior in evolving populations of flying agents”. In E. Cantu-Paz et. al. editor. Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2003), Berlin, Germany, 2003, pp.61-73.
  13. M. Dorigo, V. Maniezzo, and A.Colorni, “Ant System: Optimization by a Colony of Cooperating Agents,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part B: Cybernetics, Vol. 26, No. 1, February 1996.
  14. J. Kennedy and R. Eberhart, “Particle Swarm Optimization,” IEEE Conference on Neural Networks, Proceedings 1995.
  15. D. Payton, M. Daily, R. Estowski, M. Howard, and C. Lee, “Pheromone Robotics”, Autonomous Robots, Vol. 11, No. 3, November, 2001.
  16. Y. Meng, O. Kazeem, and J. Muller, “A Hybrid ACO/PSO Control Algorithm for Distributed Swarm Robots”, 2007 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, April 2007, Hawaii, USA.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Meng Y., Kazeem Ọ. and Gan J. (2007). A Bio-inspired Multi-Robot Coordination Approach . In Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Multi-Agent Robotic Systems - Volume 1: MARS, (ICINCO 2007) ISBN 978-972-8865-86-6, pages 14-23. DOI: 10.5220/0001634100140023

in Bibtex Style

author={Yan Meng and Ọlọrundamilọla Kazeem and Jing Gan},
title={A Bio-inspired Multi-Robot Coordination Approach},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Multi-Agent Robotic Systems - Volume 1: MARS, (ICINCO 2007)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Multi-Agent Robotic Systems - Volume 1: MARS, (ICINCO 2007)
TI - A Bio-inspired Multi-Robot Coordination Approach
SN - 978-972-8865-86-6
AU - Meng Y.
AU - Kazeem Ọ.
AU - Gan J.
PY - 2007
SP - 14
EP - 23
DO - 10.5220/0001634100140023