Guaranteeing spoof-resilient multi-robot networks

Stephanie Gil, Swarun Kumar, Mark Mazumder, Dina Katabi, Daniela Rus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Multi-robot networks use wireless communication to provide wide-ranging services such as aerial surveillance and unmanned delivery. However, effective coordination between multiple robots requires trust, making them particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Specifically, such networks can be gravely disrupted by the Sybil attack, where even a single malicious robot can spoof a large number of fake clients. This paper proposes a new solution to defend against the Sybil attack, without requiring expensive cryptographic key-distribution. Our core contribution is a novel algorithm implemented on commercial Wi-Fi radios that can “sense” spoofers using the physics of wireless signals. We derive theoretical guarantees on how this algorithm bounds the impact of the Sybil Attack on a broad class of multi-robot problems, including locational coverage and unmanned delivery. We experimentally validate our claims using a team of AscTec quadrotor servers and iRobot Create ground clients, and demonstrate spoofer detection rates over 96%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1400
Number of pages18
JournalAutonomous Robots
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anechoic chamber
  • Coordinated control
  • Cybersecurity
  • Multi-robot systems
  • Performance bounds
  • Sybil attack
  • Wireless networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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