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P Phi SS: An Open-Source Experimental Setup for Real-World Implementation of Swarm Robotic Systems in Long-Term Scenarios

Arvin, Farshad
Krajnik, Tomas
Turgut, Ali Emre
Swarm robotics is a relatively new research field that employs multiple robots (tens, hundreds or even thousands) that collaborate on complex tasks. There are several issues which limit the realworld application of swarm robotic scenarios, e.g. autonomy time, communication methods, and cost of commercialised robots. We present a platform, which aims to overcome the aforementioned limitations while using off-the-shelf components and freely-available software. The platform combines (i) a versatile open-hardware micro-robot capable of local and global communication, (ii) commercially-available wireless charging modules which provide virtually unlimited robot operation time, (iii) open-source marker-based robot tracking system for automated experiment evaluation, (iv) and a LCD display or a light projector to simulate environmental cues and pheromone communication. To demonstrate the versatility of the system, we present several scenarios, where our system was used.