Digital Hormone based Distributed Controller for Multicellular Robotic Organisms

This work was part of the European Comission funded project Symbrion. The main goal of this project was to develop robots that are capable of operating as a large swarm of robots as well as building large organisms for investigating and developing novel principles of evolution and adaptation for symbiotic organisms.

The objective of this project was to develop a distributed controller, based on local communication among physically connected module in a modular robotic organism, to produce locomotion and obstacle avoidance behavior. Similar to biological hormones, modules produced and diffused information about their local connections, sensors stimuli, etc. to their immediate neighboring modules, called Digital Hormones. Based on such information modules discover their topological location in the modular robotic configuration, and accordingly chose their local action, which results in the emergence of the global behavior of the robotic organism. The controller was evaluated on three different robotic organisms (Caterpillar, ‘V’ and Scorpion).

Highlights Video

Master Thesis

A. Ranganath, “Distributed Control Algorithm for a Multi Cellular Robot”, Masters thesis, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. August, 2009 [PDF]