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Paper WeD03.2

Rubenstein, Michael (Harvard University), Ahler, Christian (Harvard University), Nagpal, Radhika (Harvard University)

Kilobot: A Low Cost Scalable Robot System for Collective Behaviors

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Session "Modular Robots & Multi-Agent Systems" (WeD03), Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 16:45−17:00, Meeting Room 3 (Mak'to)

2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 14-18, 2012, RiverCentre, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on October 19, 2017

Keywords Cellular and Modular Robots, Distributed Robot Systems

Abstract

In current robotics research there is a vast body of work on algorithms and control methods for groups of decentralized cooperating robots, called a swarm or collective. These algorithms are generally meant to control collectives of hundreds or even thousands of robots; however, for reasons of cost, time, or complexity, they are generally validated in simulation only, or on a group of a few tens of robots. To address this issue, this paper presents Kilobot, a low-cost robot designed to make testing collective algorithms on hundreds or thousands of robots accessible to robotics researchers. To enable the possibility of large Kilobot collectives where the number of robots is an order of magnitude larger than the largest that exist today, each robot is made with only $14 worth of parts and takes 5 minutes to assemble. Furthermore, the robot design allows a single user to easily operate a large Kilobot collective, such as programming, powering on, and charging all robots, which would be difficult or impossible to do with many existing robotic systems.

 

 

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