Local bearing estimation for a swarm of low-cost miniature robots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Swarm robotics focuses on decentralised control of large numbers of simple robots with limited capabilities. Decentralised control in a swarm system requires a reliable communication link between the individuals that is able to provide linear and angular distances between the individuals—Range & Bearing. This study presents the development of an open-source, low-cost communication module which can be attached to miniature sized robots; e.g., Mona. In this study, we only focused on bearing estimation to mathematically model the bearings of neighbouring robots through systematic experiments using real robots. In addition, the model parameters were optimised using a genetic algorithm to provide a reliable and precise model that can be applied for all robots in a swarm. For further investigation and improvement of the system, an additional layer of optimisation on the hardware layout was implemented. The results from the optimisation suggested a new arrangement of the sensors with slight angular displacements on the developed board. The precision of bearing was significantly improved by optimising in both software level and re-arrangement of the sensors’ positions on the hardware layout.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3308
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


  • Swarm Robotics
  • Mobile Robots
  • Range & Bearing


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