Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DEMIURGE Report Summary

Project ID: 681872
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DEMIURGE (Automatic Design of Robot Swarms)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The scope of the DEMIURGE project is the automatic design of robot swarms. Swarm robotics is an appealing approach to the coordination of large groups of robots. Up to now, robot swarms have been designed via some labor-intensive process. The goal of the project is to advance the state of the art in swarm robotics by developing the DEMIURGE: an intelligent system that is able to design and realize robot swarms in a totally integrated and automatic way. The DEMIURGE is a novel concept. Starting from requirements expressed in an appropriate specification language, the DEMIURGE will design all aspects of a robot swarm—hardware and control software. The DEMIURGE will cast a design problem into an optimization problem and will tackle it in a computation- intensive way. In this project, we will study different control software structures, optimization algorithms, ways to specify requirements, validation protocols, on-line adaptation mechanisms and techniques for re-design at run time.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

So far, the work has followed the research lines defined in the proposal with only minor adjustments. In particular, we have already started investigating two issues whose study was originally planned to start on year three. We did so because a favorable situation occurred and we decided to seize the opportunity.

In the following, we mention only the results that we have published. For the time being, we prefer to keep confidential the work that lead to results that are yet to be published.

In the context of a collaboration with Prof. Andrea Roli (Università di Bologna), we implemented, analyzed, and discussed a number of methods for measuring the complexity of a robot swarm (and/or of a mission performed by a robot swarm). The results could be the appropriate starting point for the development of the research of WP5.

We have extended the existing ARGoS simulator for simulating the epuck robot in the configuration adopted in the project and for cross-compiling control software for this platform. We have re-implemented under a common framework some preexisting method for the automatic design of robot swarms. We made the software we produced publicly available.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The DEMIURGE project has five main scientific objectives: (o1) show that the automatic design of a robot swarm is feasible; (o2) study the fundamental components that enable it; (o3) develop a method to perform an on-line re-design, thus enabling run-time adaptation; (o4) devise methods to make automatic design efficient; (o5) quantify its advantages.
The project has also a concrete goal: build the DEMIURGE, an artificial system that is able to design robot swarms automatically. The pursuit of this concrete goal anchors the project to the real needs in the field of swarm robotics; it gives a clear meaning to the various research activities and contributes to their coordination and smooth interoperation; and it allows a validation of the results. Eventually, the DEMIURGE will illustrate the practical relevance of the project.
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