The field of robotics is in rapid development. As robots become cheaper to build, new applications involving many robots systems can be envisioned. One reason for using many robots is to achieve robustness. Having many robots, however, does not ensure robustness. A control strategy and robot behaviors must be engineered to incorporate robustness into the system. Swarm intelligence based approaches are popular for developing optimal and robust control strategies for systems of robots. Here we analyze the behavior of a swarm of robots modeled after a swarm of ants, where tasks are spatially distributed in the environment and robots/ants are recruited through short-range recruitment. For ants that move probabilistically in response to the short range signal and who adjust their probabilities such that they are near a phase change boundary, or edge-of-chaos, in the mean field analysis of their motions, we find a significant improvement in the robustness of the system.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Copyright 2003 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. ISBN: 0-7803-7952-7Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)


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