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Swarm robotics systems are characterized by decentralized control, limited communication between robots, use of local information, and emergence of global behavior. Such systems have shown their potential for flexibility and robustness -. However, existing swarm robotics systems are by and large still limited to displaying simple proof-of-concept behaviors under laboratory conditions. It is our contention that one of the factors holding back swarm robotics research is the almost universal insistence on homogeneous system components. We believe that swarm robotics designers must embrace heterogeneity if they ever want swarm robotics systems to approach the complexity required of real-world systems.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2013