Coordination Through Institutional Roles in Robot Collectives (Extended Abstract)
In this paper, we demonstrate the benefit of role allocation in a collective of autonomous robots performing a simple transport task. We demonstrate that, under certain conditions, the performance of the collective can be improved when a subset of the robots assume institutional roles as traffic regulators. The concept of institutional roles is part of a high-level approach to the control of multi-robot collectives called Institutional Robotics. We compare the institutional robotics approach to a swarm robotics approach. Based on results of experiments in simulation, we conclude that the coordination provided by the traffic regulating robots improves performance for large collectives, but for small collectives the performance is higher when all robots are directly involved in carrying out the task.