Title: Shinerbot: Bio-Inspired Collective Robot Swarm Navigation Platform
Author(s): Enyu Luo, Xin Hui Fang, Yuting Ng, Grace Xingxin Gao
Published in: Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016)
September 12 - 16, 2016
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1091 - 1095
Cite this article: Luo, Enyu, Fang, Xin Hui, Ng, Yuting, Gao, Grace Xingxin, "Shinerbot: Bio-Inspired Collective Robot Swarm Navigation Platform," Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016), Portland, Oregon, September 2016, pp. 1091-1095.
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Abstract: We designed and built a collective robot swarm navigation platform, called Shinerbot, inspired by the emergent navigation behavior of the Golden Shiner Fish. Unlike traditional navigation robots that require location information, path-planning and communication between networked elements, each Shinerbot performs only two navigation operations. Each Shinerbot modulates its speed based on sensing of its environment at its current location. In addition, each Shinerbot moves towards neighboring Shinerbots. Both our Shinerbot speed and direction incorporate some randomness. As a swarm, our Shinerbots collectively navigate using minimal sensing and control. We designed our Shinerbot swarm navigation platform to use vibration motors for mobility, a photodiode for environment light intensity sensing, reflective ranges for neighbor proximity sensing and a microcontroller for processing. In addition, to make large-scale swarm operations tractable, we designed a swarm messaging system and a swarm charging plate. We built 30 Shinerbots, each of size 40.6mm and of cost USD $20. This process includes drawing the circuit schematics, producing the PCB layouts, sending the PCB for fabrication, soldering the electronic components, writing custom software, programming the Shinerbots, calibration and testing. Following that, we experimentally demonstrated successful Shinerbot swarm navigation.