SWARM-BOT: A Swarm of Autonomous Mobile Robots with Self-Assembling Capabilities
We present a new robotic concept, called SWARM-BOT, based on a swarm of small and simple autonomous mobile robots called S-BOTs. S-BOTs have a particular assembling capability that allows them to connect physically to other S-BOTs and form a bigger robot entity, the SWARM-BOT. A SWARM-BOT is typically composed by 10 to 30 S-BOTs physically interconnected. S-BOTs can autonomously assemble into a SWARM-BOT but also disassemble again. This feature of the S-BOTs provides SWARM-BOT with self-assembling and self-reconfiguring capabilities. Such a concept, by taking advantage from the collective and distributed approaches, ensures robustness to failures even in hard environment conditions. The approach presented finds its theoretical roots in recent studies on swarm intelligence.