Communication in robot swarms
Robot swarms are tricky because they need to sense not only the environment, but also each robot in the swarm. They need to communicate with the other robots, too, while acting independently. Perception-action loops are fundamental to creating autonomous robots that function in unstructured environments. Robot swarms require their communication ability to be embedded in this feedback loop. Thus, perception-action-communication loops are key to designing robot swarms. There are currently no systematic approaches for doing this across large groups. The study says, however, falling prices and increasing performances of sensors, processors, storage devices and communications hardware will lead to significant advances of robot swarms in the next 5-10 years.