Colias: An Autonomous Micro Robot for Swarm Robotic Applications

Farshad Arvin, John Murray, Chun Zhang, Shigang Yue

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Robotic swarms that take inspiration from nature are becoming a fascinating topic for multi-robot researchers. The aim is to control a large number of simple robots in order to solve common complex tasks. Due to the hardware complexities and cost of robot platforms, current research in swarm robotics is mostly performed by simulation software. The simulation of large numbers of these robots in robotic swarm applications is extremely complex and often inaccurate due to the poor modelling of external conditions. In this paper, we present the design of a low-cost, open-platform, autonomous micro-robot (Colias) for robotic swarm applications. Colias employs a circular platform with a diameter of 4 cm. It has a maximum speed of 35 cm/s which enables it to be used in swarm scenarios very quickly over large arenas. Long-range infrared modules with an adjustable output power allow the robot to communicate with its direct neighbours at a range of 0.5 cm to 2 m. Colias has been designed as a complete platform with supporting software development tools for robotics education and research. It has been tested in both individual and swarm scenarios, and the observed results demonstrate its feasibility for use as a micro-sized mobile robot and as a low-cost platform for robot swarm applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2014


    • Autonomous Robot
    • Swarm Robotics
    • Collective Behaviour
    • Micro-robot


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