Prey retrieval, also known as foraging, is a widely used test application in collective robotics. The task consists in searching for objects spread in the environment and in bringing them to a specific place called nest. Scientific issues usually concern efficient exploration, mapping, communication among agents, task coordination and allocation, and confliict resolution. In particular, interferences among robots reduce the efficiency of the group in performing the task. Several works in the literature investigate how the control system of each robot or some form of middle/long range communication can reduce the interferences. In this work, we show that a simple adaptation mechanism, inspired by ants' behaviour and based only on information locally available to each robot, is effective in increasing the group efficiency. The same adaptation mechanism is also responsible for self-organised task allocation in the group.
collective robotics, bio-inspired systems, swarm intelligence
Thomas H. Labella, Marco Dorigo and Jean-Louis Deneubourg. (2004)
Efficiency and Task Allocation in Prey Retrieval.
In Auke Jan Ijspeert and Masayuki Murata (ed.)
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced Information Technology (Bio-ADIT 2004). In press.