An amalgamation of hormone inspired arbitration systems for application in robot swarms

James Wilson*, Jon Timmis, Andy Tyrrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Previous work has shown that virtual hormone systems can be engineered to arbitrate swarms of robots between sets of behaviours. These virtual hormones act similarly to their natural counterparts, providing a method of online, reactive adaptation. It is yet to be shown how virtual hormone systems could be used when a robotic swarm has a large variety of task types to execute. This paper details work that demonstrates the viability of a collection of virtual hormones that can be used to regulate and adapt a swarm over time, in response to different environments and tasks. Specifically, the paper examines a new method of hormone speed control for energy efficiency and combines it with two existing systems controlling environmental preference as well as a selection of behaviours that produce an effective foraging swarm. Experiments confirm the effectiveness of the combined system, showing that a swarm of robots equipped with multiple virtual hormones can forage efficiently to a specified item demand within an allotted period of time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3524
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2019


  • Arbitration
  • Behaviour
  • Demand
  • Hormone
  • Robotics
  • Swarm


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