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Ad hoc networks are self-configuring networks of mobile nodes, connected by wireless links. Suppose each mobile node can make observations within a circular area of radius robs centred on its own location. The area coverage of the network is defined as the total area observed by the mobile nodes. We investigate a distributed scalable method based on local interactions with minimal sensing and low computational cost whereby the nodes move autonomously (self-deployment) in order to maximise the coverage of the network, while at the same time ensuring that the mobile nodes do not move so far away from each other (thus trivially maximising the coverage) that they become disconnected. Certain nodes may be instructed to move to specified locations. These guide nodes induce a correlated movement of groups of nodes which follow the guide nodes and establish maximal coverage in the specified locations. Simulation results demonstrate the coverage achieved by a group of 100 nodes when moving on an unbounded plane (optional guide nodes induce a collective motion to areas of interest) and when moving on a bounded plane with barriers or hills.