Kilobot: A low cost scalable robot system for collective behaviors

Michael Rubenstein*, Christian Ahler, Radhika Nagpal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

298 Scopus citations

Abstract

In current robotics research there is a vast body of work on algorithms and control methods for groups of decentralized cooperating robots, called a swarm or collective. These algorithms are generally meant to control collectives of hundreds or even thousands of robots; however, for reasons of cost, time, or complexity, they are generally validated in simulation only, or on a group of a few tens of robots. To address this issue, this paper presents Kilobot, a low-cost robot designed to make testing collective algorithms on hundreds or thousands of robots accessible to robotics researchers. To enable the possibility of large Kilobot collectives where the number of robots is an order of magnitude larger than the largest that exist today, each robot is made with only $14 worth of parts and takes 5 minutes to assemble. Furthermore, the robot design allows a single user to easily operate a large Kilobot collective, such as programming, powering on, and charging all robots, which would be difficult or impossible to do with many existing robotic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2012
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages3293-3298
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781467314039
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Event 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2012 - Saint Paul, MN, United States
Duration: May 14 2012May 18 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Other

Other 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySaint Paul, MN
Period5/14/125/18/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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