What is a Robot Swarm: A Definition for Swarming Robotics

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Robotics Research Center

Publication Date


Publication Title

IEEE Ubiquitous Computing, Electronics and Mobile Communications Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The swarm, a type of multi-agent system, has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity within the autonomous robotics field. Despite a variety of theoretical and simulated research work in the area of swarm theory and multi-agent artificial intelligence, the practical use of swarms remains limited. Though many limiting factors lie on the technical front, one limiting factor may be a lack of appreciation for swarm capabilities and applications as opposed to those of conventional robotics. To help address the latter limiting factor, this paper proposes a definition of a swarm in the context of autonomous robotics, describes many real-world problems that can be addressed through use of swarms, and details current applications of swarming robotic systems.

First Page


Record links to items hosted by external providers may require fee for full-text.