Dr Roderich Gross

Senior Lecturer in Robotics and Computational Intelligence

Dr Roderich Gross Dipl.-Inform. PhD SMIEEE MACM
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Amy Johnson Building
Portobello Street
University of Sheffield
S1 3JD
Tel: +44-114-222-5610
Fax: +44-114-222-5683
Email: r.gross@sheffield.ac.uk

Natural Robotics Lab


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I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield, a Visiting Scientist at CSAIL, MIT, and an Executive Committee Member of Sheffield Robotics, where I lead the Enabling Technologies theme. I received a Ph.D. degree in engineering science in 2007 from Université libre de Bruxelles, and was a JSPS Fellow (Tokyo Institute of Technology), a Research Associate (University of Bristol), and a Marie Curie Fellow (EPFL & Unilever). My research interests are in robotics and artificial intelligence. I have made contributions to the coordination of robot swarms and reconfigurable robots, and invented a machine learning method called Turing Learning. I served as the General Chair of DARS 2016 and as an Editor of IROS 2015-18. Currently, I serve as an Associate Editor of Swarm Intelligence, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, and ICRA 2019.

Curriculum vitae (PDF file) [last updated: July 2017]

Research interests

  • swarm robotics, self-reconfigurable robots, multi-robot coordination, collaborative robots
  • robotics software/tools (human-robot interaction interfaces, formal design tools, operating systems)
  • machine learning for behavior inference (Turing Learning, generative adversarial networks)
  • autonomous systems and decision making
  • natural computing (swarm intelligence, evolutionary algorithms, artificial life)

Research grants

  • Industry Research/Consultancy, 'Modular robotics', from 24/03/2017
  • EPSRC 'Robotics Capital Equipment' £462,075 01/10/2016 - 31/03/2017
  • EPSRC ‘Human-Machine Cooperation in Robotics and Autonomous Systems’ £330,333.80 (App No.138565) 01/07/2013 – 30/09/2014
  • ESPRC ‘Evo-Bots’ £100,905 (App No. 135020) 01/07/2013 – 31/12/2014
  • EU FP7 'Evolving Robots' £37,125 (PERG07-GA-2010-267354) 01/09/2010 - 31/08/2013
  • Unilever Research ‘Unilever Research Portsunlight’ £62,414 (App No. 132096) 01/11/2011 – 31/07/2012


I currently teach the following modules:

  • ACS6121 Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Professional activities and recognition

- General Chair: DARS 2016 (13th Int Symp on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems)
- Chair, IEEE CIS Task Force on Swarm Intelligence (2016-2017)
- Editor, IROS 2018 - 2015 (IEEE/RSJ Int Conf on Intelligent Robots and Systems)
- Associate Editor: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (from 2015)
- Associate Editor: IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (from 2015)
- Associate Editor: Swarm Intelligence (from 2013)
- Associate Editor: ICRA 2015 - 2012 (IEEE Int Conf on Robotics and Automation)
- Associate Editor: IROS 2019, 2014 - 2012 (IEEE/RSJ Int Conf on Intelligent Robots and Systems)
- Program Co-Chair: GECCO 2018 (Swarm Intelligence Track)
- Program Co-Chair: AAMAS 2016 (Robotics Track)
- Program Co-Chair: ANTS 2012 (8th Int Conf on Swarm Intelligence)
- Program Co-Chair: TAROS 2011 (12th Conf Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems)
- Publication Chair: ANTS 2010 (7th Int Conf on Swarm Intelligence)
- Member of the Editorial Board: Frontiers in Robotics & AI
- Part Editor: Springer Handbook of Computational Intelligence
- Guest Editor: Distributed Robotics special issue (Auton Robots, 2018)
- Guest Editor: Swarm Robotics special issue (Neural Comput & Appl, 2010)
- Guest Editor: TAROS 2011 special issue (Robot Auton Syst)
- Guest Editor: ANTS 2010 and ANTS 2012 special issues (Swarm Intell)
- Grant Reviewer for national funding bodies (EU, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Austria)
- Reviewer (e.g., Royal Soc Interface, IEEE Trans Robot, Int J Robot Res, IEEE Trans Evol Compt, PLoS ONE)
- SPC Member: AAMAS 2018
- PC Member: RSS 2018NIPS 2018, IJCAI 2017, AAMAS 2017, GECCO 2017, ..

Invited talks (selected)

- "Advances in distributed robotics and Turing Learning", SSR, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2018)
- "Robots, swarms and Turing learning", Plenary talk at 27th ERNSI Workshop (European Research Network on System Identification), Cambridge, UK (2018)
- "Robots, swarms and Turing learning", Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Konstanz, Germany (2018)
- "Less is more? Defining your building blocks", Dagstuhl seminar on Algorithmic Foundations of Programmable Matter, Germany (2018)
- "Less is more? Controlling swarms and Turing learning", Biological Distributed Algorithms (BDA) Workshop, UCL, UK (2018)
- "Less is more? Controlling swarms and Turing learning", Conference on Collective Robotics, International Centre for Theoretical Physics/UNESCO, Italy (2018) 
- "Less is more? New approaches for swarm control and inference", Janelia Conference on Distributed, Collective Computation in Biological and Artificial Systems, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA (2018)
- "Swarms - design, interaction and learning", University of Southampton, UK (2017)
- "Advances in massively distributed robotics and machine learning", ULB, Brussels, Belgium (2017)
- "Bandits, swarms, and Turing Learning", University of Bristol, UK (2017)
- "Less is more? New approaches for swarm control and inference", 2016 CCS Workshop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2016)
- "Controlling swarms of robots without computation", JSPS EPSRC UK - Japan Workshop on Soft Robotics, University of Cambridge, UK (2016)
- "Swarm robotics", IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems, NUS, Singapore (2016)
- "Less is more? New approaches for swarm control and inference", University of Liverpool, UK (2016)
- "Less is more? New approaches for swarm control and inference", NIPS 2016 Workshop, Montreal, Canada (2015)
- "Swarm robotics: Minimalism, learning and evolution" - University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2015)
- "Controlling robot swarms - from theory to practice - and evolution beyond control", EPFL, Switzerland (2015)
- "Swarm robotics - the future of healthcare?", RE.WORK Future Tech Summit, London, UK (2015)
- "Swarm robotics: Minimalism, learning and evolution" - ULB, Belgium (2014)
- "Swarm robotics: Minimalism, learning and evolution" - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (2014)
- "Is less more? Design principles for massively distributed robotic systems" - The Royal Society UK-Russia Frontiers of Science meeting, Kazan, Russia (2013)
- "Towards distributed autonomous robotic systems," CSAIL, MIT, USA (2012)
- "Towards autonomous robotic systems," Transducers Science and Technology Group, Univ. of Twente, The Netherlands (2011)
- "From natural swarms to swarms of robots," Thrilling Wonder Stories 3, Architectural Association London, UK (2011)
- "Self-assembly at the macroscopic scale," Self-Assembly on all Scales workshop, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany (2011)
- "Autonomous mobile systems inspired by nature," Institute of Computer Science, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany (2009)
- "Autonomous robotic systems inspired by nature," Fakultaet fuer Informatik, Univ. of Karlsruhe, Germany (2009)
- "Physical interactions in multi-robot systems," Faculty of EE & IT, Technical Univ. of Munich, Germany (2009)
- "Self-assembling robots: Physical interactions in collective robotics," IPVS, Univ. of Stuttgart, Germany (2008)
- "What properties are required for individuals that work in groups or teams?," IPAB, Univ. of Edinburgh, UK (2007)
- "Teamwork in colonies of insect-like robots," Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK (2007)
- "Self-assembly and its use in swarm-bot," Murata Lab, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan (2005)
- "Group transport by a self-assembling robotic system," Kosuge and Wang Lab, Tohoku Univ., Japan (2005)
- "Swarm-bots: A self-assembling robotic system," Fukuda Lab, Nagoya Univ., Japan (2005)

Selected publications

(for a complete list, see naturalrobotics.group.shef.ac.uk/publications.html)

International journals:

Ozdemir A., Gauci M., Bonnet S., Gross R. Finding consensus without computation. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 3(3):1346-1353, 2018

Perez-Diaz F., Zillmer R., Gross R. Robustness of synchronization regimes in networks of mobile pulse-coupled oscillators. Physical Review Applied, 7, 054002, 2017

Li W., Gauci M., Gross R. Turing learning: a metric-free approach to inferring behavior and its applications to swarms. Swarm Intelligence, 10(3):211-243, 2016

Kaszubowski Lopes Y., Trenkwalder S.M., Bittencourt Leal A., Dodd T.J., Gross R. "Supervisory control theory applied to swarm robotics," Swarm Intelligence, 10(1):65-97, 2016

Glancy J.P., Gross R., Stone J.V. and Wilson S.P. "A Self-organising model of thermoregulatory huddling," PLOS Computational Biology, 11(9):e1004283, 2015

Chen J., Gauci M., Li W., Kolling A., and Gross R. "Occlusion-based cooperative transport with a swarm of miniature mobile robots," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 31(2):307-321, 2015

Gauci M., Chen J., Li W., Dodd T.J., Gross R. "Self-organized aggregation without computation," International Journal of Robotics Research, 33(8):1145-1161, 2014

Gauci M., Dodd T.J., and Gross R. "Why 'GSA: A gravitational search algorithm' is not genuinely based on the law of gravity," Natural Computing, 11(4):719-720, 2012

Correll N. and Gross R. "From Swarm Robotics to Smart Materials," Special Issue on "Swarm Robotics", Neural Computing & Applications, 19(6):785-786, 2010

O'Grady R., Gross R., Christensen A.L., and Dorigo M. "Self-assembly strategies in a group of autonomous mobile robots," Autonomous Robots, 28(4):439-455, 2010

Nouyan S., Gross R., Bonani M., Mondada F., and Dorigo M. "Teamwork in self-organized robot colonies," IEEE Trans Evolutionary Computation, 13(4):695-711, 2009

Gross R. and Dorigo M. "Towards group transport by swarms of robots," International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, 1(1-2):1-13, 2009

Gross R. and Dorigo M. "Self-assembly at the macroscopic scale," Proceedings of the IEEE, 96(9):1490-1508, 2008

Gross R., Houston A.I., Collins E.J., McNamara J.M., Dechaume-Moncharmont F.-X., and Franks N.R. "Simple learning rules to cope with changing environments," Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 5(27):1193-1202, 2008

Gross R. and Dorigo M. "Evolution of solitary and group transport behaviors for autonomous robots capable of self-assembling," Adaptive Behavior, 16(5): 285-305, 2008

Franks N.R., Hooper J.W., Gumn M., Bridger T.H., Marshall J.A.R., Gross R., and Dornhaus A. "Moving targets: collective decisions and flexible choices in house-hunting ants," Swarm Intelligence, 1(2):81-94, 2007

Gross R., Bonani M., Mondada F. and Dorigo M. "Autonomous self-assembly in swarm-bots," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 22(6):1115-1130, 2006

Tuci E., Gross R.; Trianni V., Mondada F., Bonani M. and Dorigo M. "Cooperation through self-assembly in multi-robot systems," ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, 1(2):115-150, 2006

Dorigo M., Trianni V., Sahin E., Gross R., Labella T.H., Baldassarre G., Nolfi S., Deneubourg J.-L., Mondada F., Floreano D. and Gambardella L.M. "Evolving self-organizing behaviors for a swarm-bot," Autonomous Robots, 17(2-3):223-245, 2004