Dispersion behaviors for a team of multiple miniature robots

Janice L. Pearce, Paul E. Rybski, Sascha A. Stoeter, Nikolaos P Papanikolopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


To safely and efficiently guide search and rescue operations in disaster areas, gathering of relevant information such as the locations of victims, must occur swiftly. Using the concept of "repellent virtual pheromones" inspired by insect colony coordination behaviors, miniature robots can be quickly dispersed to survey a disaster site. Assisted by visual serving, dispersion of the miniature robots can quickly cover an area. An external observer such as another robot or an overhead camera is brought into the control loop to provide each miniature robot estimations of the positions of all of the other nearby robots in the robotic team. Each robot can then move away from the other nearby robots, resulting in the robot collective swiftly dispersing through the local area. The technique has been implemented using the miniature Scout robots, developed by the Center for Distributed Robotics at the University of Minnesota, which are well-suited to surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1158-1163
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Sep 14 2003Sep 19 2003


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