Meeting Abstract

49.5  Saturday, Jan. 5  When Swarm Intelligence Isn’t: Common Goals Alone Explain Emergence of Group Coordination in Asocial Embodied Robots DE LEEUW, JR*; LIVINGSTON, KR; PORTER, ME; LONG, JH; Indiana University; Vassar College; Vassar College; Vassar College jolong@vassar.edu

Swarm theory postulates that local, sensory-based interactions between members of a group drive the formation of synchronized group behavior. We demonstrate that sensory information about other group members is not necessary for simple-minded autonomous fish-like robots to school. Our surface-swimming robots lack the ability to sense one another, yet they school when all individuals share the single goal to detect and swim up a gradient of light in a circular pool. As individual goal-directedness increases group coordination also increases, an effect that is robust in groups of different sizes. Our results demonstrate that even without direct knowledge of agents with the same goals, individual agents can reap the benefits of schooling; asocial school may have created the necessary conditions for the evolution of social swarms.