Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Small Robots – Big Tasks Seminar

17:00 - 18:00
21 April 2015

Event details

Many birds and insects appear exhibit very sophisticated collective behaviour, for example how do bird flock, bees find food and termites build their mounds. In order to explore these activities, biology and robots intersect to form the field of Biologically Inspired Robotics, where robots are used to model biological behaviour, and biological understanding informs the design and control of a robot.

In this presentation I will consider the rules and systems that are required to replicate biological behaviour. In the case of birds, sensory perception, and termites the use of pheromones. One area that is of considerable interest is foraging. Foraging is a well-studied behaviour in both animals and robots. Just as biological species implement foraging strategies that are adapted to their specific niches, it would be desirable to tailor robot foraging strategies to the particular challenges that they face. Social insects such as ants, bees and termites recruit their nest mates to collectively obtain food from an area in the environment that can be exploited over a number of visits. The question that needs to be addressed is "should robots forage collectively?" Since collective strategies that rely on communication, co-ordination, interaction, etc., will tend to require more expensive robots and more programming time than independent, individualist robots, it is important for designers to resort to collective strategies only when they significantly improve collective performance. The presentation will consider a number of approaches and discussed the foraging strategy to maximise return for a number of different environments, together with the robots that can and are being used as part of the research.

Speaker information

Dr Richard M Crowder,ECS, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering Position: Academic staff in Agents, Interaction and Complexity

Privacy Settings