A Study on a Foraging Behavior of Interacting Simple Robots
Ken Sugawara*,**, Masaki Sano***, and Toshinori Watanabe**
*PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST)
**Graduate School of Information Systems, University of Electro-Communications, Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8585, Japan
***Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Considerable research is currently being conducted in the area of multi-robot systems. The most remarkable characteristic of these types of systems is that the robots are able to work cooperatively to complete a task that a single robot cannot accomplish by itself. This characteristic is essential in the investigation of the effect of the number of robots in a given system. Out of the various possible multi-robot tasks, a foraging task was chosen for these experiments. The robots used in the experiments referenced by this paper had a simple interaction method with a light signal. The robots’ behavior in a one feeding point field was first discussed. This behavior was analyzed by both a robot simulation and a mathematical model. In the next experiment, numerous feeding points, equidistant from the home location, were arranged in the foraging field. The performance of the robots in this arrangement was then discussed. This report highlights the ordered behavior of the robot group, which greatly depends upon the number of robots and the strength of their interaction.