The MarXbot, a Miniature Mobile Robot Opening new Perspectives for the Collective-robotic Research
Collective and swarm robotics explores scenarios involving many robots running at the same time. A good platform for collective-robotic experiments should provide certain features among others: it should have a large battery life, it should be able to perceive its peers, and it should be capable of interacting with them. This paper presents the marXbot, a miniature mobile robot that addresses these needs. The marXbot uses differential-drive treels to provide rough-terrain mobility. The marXbot allows continuous experiments thanks to a sophisticated energy management and a hotswap battery exchange mechanism. The marXbot can self-assemble with peers using a compliant attachment mechanism. The marXbot provides high-quality vision, using two cameras directly interfaced with an ARM processor. Compared to the related work, the marXbot has better energy management, vision, and interaction capabilities. By allowing complex tasks in large environments for long durations, the marXbot opens new perspectives for the collective-robotic research.