Swarm robotics is a field dedicated to the study of the design and development of certain multi-robot systems. Often times, these groups prove to be more beneficial than a single complex robot as swarms typically provide a more robust and potentially more efficient solution. One such case is the task of escorting a specified target while addressing any potential threats discovered in the environment. In this work, a control algorithm for a high volume, decentralized, homogeneous robot swarm was developed based upon a technique commonly used to model incompressible fluids known as Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH).

This proposed solution to the asset protection problem was tested against a more commonly accepted method for robot navigation known as potential fields. An alternate algorithm was developed based on this technique and manipulated to perform the same basic duty of asset protection. Both algorithms were tested in simulation using ARGoS as an environment and Swarmanoid’s Footbots as robot models. Five experiments were run in order to examine the functionality of both of these algorithms in relation to formation control and the protection of a mobile asset from mobile threats. The results proved the proposed SPH based algorithm comparable to the potential fields based method while minimizing the escape window and having a slightly higher response rate to introduced threats. These results hint that the concept of using fluid models for control of high volume swarms should further be explored and seriously considered as a potential solution to the asset protection problem.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Robots--Control systems; Autonomous robots; Swarm intelligence

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Science (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


Zachary Butler

Advisor/Committee Member

Aaron Deever

Advisor/Committee Member

Sean Strout


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ211.495 .P69 2016


RIT – Main Campus

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