CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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id acadia16_54
authors Andreen, David; Jenning, Petra; Napp, Nils; Petersen, Kirstin
year 2016
title Emergent Structures Assembled by Large Swarms of Simple Robots
source ACADIA // 2016: POSTHUMAN FRONTIERS: Data, Designers, and Cognitive Machines [Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 978-0-692-77095-5] Ann Arbor 27-29 October, 2016, pp. 54-61
summary Traditional architecture relies on construction processes that require careful planning and strictly defined outcomes at every stage; yet in nature, millions of relatively simple social insects collectively build large complex nests without any global coordination or blueprint. Here, we present a testbed designed to explore how emergent structures can be assembled using swarms of active robots manipulating passive building blocks in two dimensions. The robot swarm is based on the toy “bristlebot”; a simple vibrating motor mounted on top of bristles to propel the body forward. Since shape largely determines the details of physical interactions, the robot behavior is altered by carefully designing its geometry instead of uploading a digital program. Through this mechanical programming, we plan to investigate how to tune emergent structural properties such as the size and temporal stability of assemblies. Alongside a physical testbed with 200 robots, this work involves comprehensive simulation and analysis tools. This simple, reliable platform will help provide better insight on how to coordinate large swarms of robots to construct functional structures.
keywords emergent structures, mechanical intelligence, swarm robotics
series ACADIA
type paper
full text file.pdf (885,587 bytes)
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