Robotics: Science and Systems VIII

What Types of Interactions do Bio-Inspired Robot Swarms and Flocks Afford a Human?

Michael Goodrich, Sean Kerman, Brian Pendleton, P.B. Sujit


"This paper uses simulations to identify what types of human influence are afforded by the flocking and swarming structures that emerge from Couzin's bio-inspired model. The goal is to allow a human to influence a decentralized agent collective without resorting to centralized human control. Evidence is provided that, when nominal agents use switching-based control to respond to human-guided predators and leaders, the resulting behavior is responsive to human input but is obtained at the cost of causing the dynamic structure of the collective to follow a single flocking structure. Leaders are more effective in influencing coherent flocks, but predators can be used to divide the flock into sub-flocks, yielding higher performance on some problems. Introducing a so-called ""stakeholder"" leadership style makes it possible for a human to guide the agents while maintaining several different types of structures; doing so requires more than one human-controlled agent. We then demonstrate that it is possible to produce potentially useful emergent dynamics without centralized human control, and identify an important type of emergent dynamics: automatic switches between structure types."



    AUTHOR    = {Michael Goodrich AND Sean Kerman AND Brian Pendleton AND P.B. Sujit}, 
    TITLE     = {What Types of Interactions do Bio-Inspired Robot Swarms and Flocks Afford a Human?}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2012}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Sydney, Australia}, 
    MONTH     = {July},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2012.VIII.014}