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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Roderich Gross is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield and an Executive Committee Member of Sheffield Robotics, where he leads the Enabling Technologies theme. He received a Ph.D. degree in engineering science in 2007 from Université libre de Bruxelles in 2007, and was a JSPS Fellow (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and a Marie Curie Fellow (EPFL & Unilever). He has authored more than 70 publications in robotics and artificial intelligence. He has made contributions to the coordination of swarm and reconfigurable robots, and invented a machine learning method called Turing Learning. Dr Gross serves as the General Chair of DARS 2016, Editor of IROS 2015-17, and as an Associate Editor of Swarm Intelligence, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine.

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
  • ACS6334 Mobile Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles
  • PSY6317 Methods in Computational Intelligence

Professional activities and recognition

- General Chair: DARS 2016 (13th Int Symp on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems)
- Chair, IEEE CIS Task Force on Swarm Intelligence (from 2016)
- Editor, IROS 2017 - 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 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 2018RSS 2017, IJCAI 2017, AAMAS 2017, GECCO 2017, ..

Invited talks (selected)

- (title TBD), Dagstuhl seminar on Algorithmic Foundations of Programmable Matter, Germany (2018)
- (title TBD), 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, in press

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