International Journal of Robotics Research

Cooperative cleaners: A study in ant robotics

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In the world of living creatures, simple-minded animals often cooperate to achieve common goals with amazing performance. One can consider this idea in the context of robotics, and suggest models for programming goal-oriented behavior into the members of a group of simple robots lacking global supervision. This can be done by controlling the local interactions between the robot agents, to have them jointly carry out a given mission. As a test case we analyze the problem of many simple robots cooperating to clean the dirty floor of a non-convex region in Z2, using the dirt on the floor as the main means of inter-robot communication. © SAGE Publications 2008.