Humanoid Robotic Swarms
The main scientific objective of this research project is to design, implement and control a novel distributed robotic system. The system will be made up of heterogeneous, dynamically connected, small autonomous robots acting in three dimensional space. Collectively, these robots will form what we call a swarmanoid (humanoid swarm).

The swarmanoid that we intend to build consists of about 60 small autonomous robots of three types: eye-robots, hand-robots and foot-robots. The eye-robots, located in a raised position, are small helicopter specialised to see and analyse the environment, providing an overview that foot-robots and hand-robots cannot have. The hand-robots are specialised in the movement of objects and act in a middle ground between eye-robots and foot-robots. The hand-robots can climb vertical surfaces or locate objects in the environment. The foot-robots are specialised in transporting both objects and other robots over rough terrain.

This robotic system was built starting from the platform developed in the European project SWARMBOTS of the same consortium The combination of these three types of autonomous robots form a heterogeneous robotic system, able to move in a three-dimensional space and take on a humanoid appearance.

In addition to building robots, the project will contribute to the development of distributed algorithms for controlling the swarmanoid, and to the study and definition of distributed communication protocols, allowing facilitation of the maneuvering of the swarmanoid.

The project is funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET-OPEN) project funded by the European Commission. Partners of the project are and the Université Libre of Bruxelles, the National Research Council of Rome, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale of Lausanne, IDSIA, Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (USI-SUPSI), Lugano, Switzerland.

Project Title: Swarmanoid: Towards Humanoid Robots Organised in Swarms
Manager at SUPSI: Luca Maria Gambardella
Department: Department of Technology Innovation
Research Unit: Dalle Molle Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence
Research Discipline: Artificial Intelligence
Project Duration: 2006-2010
Funding: Future and Emerging Technologies (FET-OPEN) project funded by the European Commission.