Ant Robots Tutorial

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Ant robots are simple and cheap robots with limited sensing and computational capabilities. This makes it feasible to deploy teams of ant robots and take advantage of the resulting fault tolerance and parallelism. Ant robots cannot use conventional planning methods due to their limited sensing and computational capabilities. Rather, their behavior is driven by local interactions. For example, ant robots can communicate via markings that they leave in the terrain, similar to ants that lay and follow pheromone trails.

In the past couple of years, researchers have developed ant robot hardware and software and demonstrated, both in imulation and on physical robots, that single ant robots or teams of ant robots solve robot-navigation tasks (such as path following and terrain coverage) robustly. Thus, ant robots might provide a promising alternative to the currently very popular robabilistic robot navigation approaches. Researchers have also developed a theoretical foundation for ant robotics, based on ideas from real-time heuristic search, stochastic analysis, and graph theory. This half day tutorial on the current state of the art n ant robotics is given by experts who will give an overview of this exciting area of mobile robotics without assuming any prior knowledge on the topic. It will cover all important aspects of ant robotics, from theoretical foundations to videos of implemented systems. To this end, it will bring together the various research directions for the first time, including theoretical foundations, ant robot hardware, and ant robot software.

Its primary objective is to give non-specialists a comprehensive overview of the state of the art of the field, for example, to allow researchers and students to do research in the area and to allow practitioners to evaluate the current state of the art in ant robotics. Consequently, it is of interest to anyone who is interested in mobile robotics and artificial intelligence.

Download the tutorial here

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