Swarm robots

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Swarm Robots 群体智能机器人

Release status: unknown [box doku]

XinchejianSwarmRobots 2012-09-28-800x.jpg
Description To build a swarm of robots
Author(s)  Lutz Michaelis Edward Jiang Paul Adams User:Svend
Last Version  0.0.1

In the process of building these robots, we hope that members who participate will also learn different kinds of skills.

Getting Involved

Join the Mailing List

  • Swarm Robots uses the Xinchejian Google Groups Mailing list
  • Post by sending email to: xinchejian -at- googlegroups.com
  • Join by sending email to: xinchejian+subscribe -at- googlegroups.com

General Idea

  • The idea is to build a swarm of little robots with a size of max. 5cm x 5cm x 5cm.
  • The swarm is "living" in a walled world to prevent them to fall off the table.
  • The world will be equipped with different IR (infrared) beacons for the communication and navigation.
  • The robots can/should have different capabilities, e.g. equipped with a gripper, charging equipment, light, shovel etc.
  • The robots with different capabilities should have a different behavior.
  • Each robot and each IR beacon get an unique ID (DISCUSS: to imitate real world swarm, unique ID should not be given, or at least be used in the inter-robot communication)
  • By calling it swarm robots, it should be employ some kind of swarm intelligence
  • Human computer interfacing should be "stimulant", "environmental" based, meaning, if possible, the communication should not even be at the same level as the inter-robot communication protocol.
  • Evolution --- We can have tiny core bytes (Genes) which determines the behavior of the robots (e.g. how much to turn when hitting an wall), which can go through "mutation" by chance. And robots can "Die" if it failed to accomplish certain task (e.g. recharging), and revived by taking up genes from other surviving robots, and the behavior of the swarm would change as time goes by.
  • creating 3D models of the robot chassis components to print them with the Makerbot

See Swarm Robots Pheromone Idea


The goal is to keep the costs for one basic robot under $5.
This includes: base/chassis, 2x gear motors with wheels, 2x dual motor driver, 1x sensor, 1x IR receiver, 1x µC and 1x battery.

  • 1x µC - $1~$2
  • 1x dual motor driver - 1$
  • 2x motors - $1
  • 1x battery - $1
  • 2x IR LED as sender + 2x IR receiver - $0.5
  • 1x microphone - $0.5

History and Updates

2012 Beginning

  • Swarm Robots had its first meeting on 6th May 2012 at Xinchejian

Swarm 0.0.1 - First development stage

The first stage should be to design the 2-layer PCB with SMD components as the main board. This board will contain the following:

  • µC
  • motor driver for 2 motors
  • voltage regulator for 3.3V and 5V
  • ISP programmer header
  • 1x IR sensor for obstacle detection
  • battery voltage monitor
  • connectors for automatic battery charging
  • 1x IR receiver for basic navigation (finding the charging station), remote control and remote programming
    • eventually 1x light sensor for light seeking and charging via solar panel
    • eventually 1x microfon for sound detection

Swarm 0.0.2

Basically it's the same concept but with changes on the main board of the base robot. The proposed changes are:

  • design a 2-layer PCB
  • use the Atmega 168/328 as main controller

Swarm 0.0.4?

  • Several breadboard and hand etched PCBs have been made and some IR sensor shields. These have really shown the basic hardware does just what we want!
  • Now THIRTY of the motor PCBs have been delivered and there are parts on hand to assemble at least 5. Some brief assembly instructions and a photo are on Swarm robots/Motor PCB 1st batch of 30 page.


See also

Exernal Links