Biologically inspired redistribution of a swarm of robots among multiple sites

M. Ani Hsieh, Ádám Halász, Spring Berman, Vijay Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We present a biologically inspired approach to the dynamic assignment and reassignment of a homogeneous swarm of robots to multiple locations, which is relevant to applications like search and rescue, environmental monitoring, and task allocation. Our work is inspired by experimental studies of ant house hunting and empirical models that predict the behavior of the colony that is faced with a choice between multiple candidate nests. We design quorum based stochastic control policies that enable the team of agents to distribute themselves among multiple candidate sites in a specified ratio, and compare our results to the linear stochastic policies described in (Halasz et al., in Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'07), pp. 2320-2325, 2007). We show how our quorum model consistently performs better than the linear models while minimizing computational requirements and now it can be implemented without the use of inter-agent wireless communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-141
Number of pages21
JournalSwarm Intelligence
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-inspired control
  • Decentralized control
  • Robot swarms
  • Task allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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