Moving Mixtures of Passive and Active Elements with Robots That Do Not Compute

Gopesh Yadav Dosieah, Anıl Özdemir, Melvin Gauci, and Roderich Groß



This paper investigates the problem of moving a mixture of passive and active elements to a desired location using a swarm of wheeled robots that require only two bits of sensory input. It examines memory-less control strategies that map a robot's sensory input to the respective wheel velocities. Results from embodied simulations show that the problem can be solved without robots having (i) to discriminate between passive and active elements or (ii) sense other robots. Strategies specifically optimized for moving passive elements, or mixtures of active and passive elements, performed robustly when changing the mixture of elements, or scaling up the number of robots (up to 25) or elements (up to 100). All strategies demonstrated to be fairly robust to noise and adaptable to active elements of different dynamics. Given the simplicity of the robot capabilities and strategies, our findings could be especially relevant in scenarios where microscopic swarm robots need to manipulate mixtures of elements of unknown dynamics, with potential applications in nanomedicine.

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 Controller A+P

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Natural Robotics Lab: investigating robotic systems inspired by nature, and robotic models of natural systems.

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