Research

Our work on self-organizing multi-agent systems lies at the intersection of Computer Science, Robotics, and Biology. The main theme in our lab is understanding and engineering collective behavior, but we do it in many ways -- both theory and hardware, and both bio-inspired and collaborations with biologists. You can read more about the broad themes in our lab on the main page, see movies and talks of our work on our youtube channel, read selected articles from our group, and find project webpages here.

collective intelligence, swarm intelligence, multi-agent systems,
self-organization, amorphous computing, global-to-local programming
bio-inspired robots, swarm robotics, modular self-adapting robots, sensor networks
decentralized algorithms, distributed computing, stigmergy, implicit coordination
systems biology, social insects, multicellular systems


Favorite Quote::  "Building 1,000 robots is hard", McLurkin said. "Getting 1,000 robots to work together reliably is, how they’d say it in Boston? 'Wicked hard'."

Project Descriptions



TERMES Robots
Collective construction of 3D structures
by termite-inspired robots


KILOBOT SWARM
Theory and experimental collective behavior
for 1024 robot swarms


INSECT COLLECTIVES
Modelling collective coordination
in ants and termite colonies


EDUCATIONAL ROBOTICS
Development of robot platforms for
K-12 and interdisciplinary education


ROBOBEES
Colony-level coordination for swarms of aerial vehicles


PROGRAMMABLE SELF-ADAPTATION
Modular robotic systems that
constantly adapt to the environment


PROGRAMMABLE ORTHOTICS
Active soft orthotics that can assist gait development.



SELF-ORGANIZING NETWORKS
Firefly-inspired synchronization and desynchronization for wireless sensor networks


MULTICELLULAR TOPOLOGY
Modelling cellular division networks
in the fruit fly wing


LOCAL-TO-GLOBAL THEORY
Theory relating minimal agents to the classes of global problems they can solve


PROGRAMMABLE SELF-ASSEMBLY
Global-to-local compilers for bio-inspired self-assembly.