Dr. Matt Wilson

Research Student: Autonomous Collection and Sorting

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathamatical Sciences
University of the West of England, Bristol
Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY





This study is based on experiments conducted in a robot system. The physical experimental system is inspired by studies conducted on Leptothorax ant colonies. The arena is regular and octagonal with 1.75m sides. Robots are 23cm in diameter which means that the area of the arena is 1,760 times the area of a robot.

The rules and robots employed aim to be as simple as conceivably possible to accomplish the desired object clustering and segregation tasks. The study focuses on algorithms for created an annular sort, which is described as "forming a central cluster of one class of objects, and surrounding it with annular bands of other classes, each band containing objects of only one type" by Melhuish [1998a]. An annular sort should result in a structure defined by separation, compactness, shape, completeness. A performance metric is applied within to the structures created using the algorithms.