Heiko Hamann

Heiko Hamann
Universität zu Lübeck · Institute of Computer Engineering

Professor for Service Robotics

About

175
Publications
33,523
Reads
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1,978
Citations
Introduction
I'm developing innovative methods to govern the ever increasing complexity of engineered systems. Novel applications of tools from physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology help me to develop new design strategies for self-organizing systems. twitter: @SwarmDynamics
Additional affiliations
April 2017 - present
Universität zu Lübeck
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2016 - September 2016
Technische Universität Chemnitz
Position
  • Professor
January 2013 - March 2017
Universität Paderborn
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (175)
Article
Full-text available
Achieving fast and accurate collective decisions with a large number of simple agents without relying on a central planning unit or on global communication is essential for developing complex collective behaviors. In this paper, we investigate the speed versus accuracy trade-off in collective decision-making in the context of a binary discriminatio...
Book
Full-text available
This book provides an introduction to Swarm Robotics, which is the application of methods from swarm intelligence to robotics. It goes on to present methods that allow readers to understand how to design large-scale robot systems by going through many example scenarios on topics such as aggregation, coordinated motion (flocking), task allocation, s...
Article
Full-text available
Plant growth is a self-organized process incorporating distributed sensing, internal communication and morphology dynamics. We develop a distributed mechatronic system that autonomously interacts with natural climbing plants, steering their behaviours to grow user-defined shapes and patterns. Investigating this bio-hybrid system paves the way towar...
Article
In collective robotic systems, the automatic generation of controllers for complex tasks is still a challenging problem. Open-ended evolution of complex robot behaviors can be a possible solution whereby an intrinsic driver for pattern formation and self-organization may prove to be important. We implement such a driver in collective robot systems...
Preprint
Full-text available
Efficient engineered systems require scalability. A scalable system has increasing performance with increasing system size. In an ideal case, the increase in performance (e.g., speedup) corresponds to the number of units that are added to the system. However, if multiple units work on the same task, then coordination among these units is required....
Article
Programming robot swarms is hard because system requirements are formulated at the swarm level (i.e., globally) while control rules need to be coded at the individual robot level (i.e., locally). Connecting global to local levels or vice versa through mathematical modeling to predict the system behavior is generally assumed to be the grand challeng...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users in urban traffic. With the arrival of autonomous driving, novel technologies can be developed specifically to protect pedestrians. We propose a~machine learning toolchain to train artificial neural networks as models of pedestrian behavior. In a~preliminary study, we use synthetic data from simulat...
Preprint
Full-text available
The tradeoff between accuracy and speed is considered fundamental to individual and collective decision-making. In this paper, we focus on collective estimation as an example of collective decision-making. The task is to estimate the average scalar intensity of a desired feature in the environment. The solution we propose consists of exploration an...
Chapter
As our contribution to the effort of developing methods to make robots more adaptive and robust to dynamic environments, we have proposed our method of ‘minimal surprise’ in a series of previous works. In a multi-robot setting, we use evolutionary computation to evolve pairs of artificial neural networks: an actor network to select motor speeds and...
Preprint
Controlling large-scale particle or robot systems is challenging because of their high dimensionality. We use a centralized stochastic approach that allows for optimal control at the cost of a central element instead of a decentralized approach. Previous works are often restricted to the assumption of fully actuated robots. Here we propose an appro...
Article
A scalable system has increasing performance with increasing system size. Coordination among units can introduce overheads with an impact on system performance. The coordination costs can lead to sublinear improvement or even diminishing performance with increasing system size. However, there are also systems that implement efficient coordination a...
Article
Full-text available
In evolutionary robotics, an encoding of the control software that maps sensor data (input) to motor control values (output) is shaped by stochastic optimization methods to complete a predefined task. This approach is assumed to be beneficial compared to standard methods of controller design in those cases where no a priori model is available that...
Chapter
Scalability is a key feature of swarm robotics. Hence, measuring performance depending on swarm size is important to check the validity of the design. Performance diagrams have generic qualities across many different application scenarios. We summarize these findings and condense them in a practical performance analysis guide for swarm robotics. We...
Book
This book constitutes the proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Swarm Intelligence, ANTS 2020, held online -due to COVID-19- in Barcelona Spain, in October 2020. The 20 full papers presented , together with 8 short papers and 5 extended abstracts were carefully reviewed and selected from 50 submissions. ANTS 2020 contributions are dea...
Article
Full-text available
In software engineering, the imprecise requirements of a user are transformed to a formal requirements specification during the requirements elicitation process. This process is usually guided by requirements engineers interviewing the user. We want to partially automate this first step of the software engineering process in order to enable users t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using multi-robot systems for autonomous construction allows for parallelization and scalability. In swarm construction we tend to go one step further as we exploit intensive robot interactions and collaboration such that the robot swarm collectively constructs artifacts beyond what a single robot could achieve. Here we present an alternative conce...
Article
Full-text available
Applying principles of swarm intelligence to the control of autonomous systems in industry can advance our ability to manage complexity in prominent and high-cost sectors—such as transportation, logistics, and construction. In swarm robotics, the exclusive use of decentralized control relying on local communication and information provides the key...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Robot swarms are known to be robust to individual robot failures. However, a reduced swarm size causes a reduced swarm density. A too low swarm density may then decrease swarm performance, that should be compensated by adapting the individual behavior. Similarly, swarm behaviors can also be adapted to changes in the environment, such as dynamic lig...
Article
Full-text available
Biohybrid robotics takes an engineering approach to the expansion and exploitation of biological behaviors for application to automated tasks. Here we identify the construction of living buildings and infrastructure as a high-potential application domain for biohybrid robotics, and review technological advances relevant to its future development. C...
Chapter
Zu Beginn definieren wir wichtige Begriffe zur Beschreibung des Verhaltens von Tieren, Software-Agenten und Robotern. Dann lernen wir einige Beispiele von Verhalten bei sozialen Insekten kennen. Abschließend überlegen wir, ob auch manche menschlichen Verhaltensweisen mit dem Begriff der Schwarmintelligenz beschrieben oder erklärt werden können.
Chapter
Entscheiden zu handeln , ob allein oder in der Gruppe, ist elementar für Einzeltiere und Schwärme. Nach einer kurzen Einführung in die Grundlagen des Entscheidens, gehen wir eine Vielzahl an Modellen durch. Die Modelle kommen dabei ursprünglich aus ganz verschiedenen Bereichen, etwa der Physik oder der Meinungsdynamik.
Chapter
Wir erfahren, was Schwärme und Schwarmverhalten sind und definieren den elementaren Begriff der Selbstorganisation. Wie es funktioniert, dass sich viele Tiere oder Agenten in einem Schwarm effizient koordinieren, untersuchen wir anhand des Begriffs der Skalierbarkeit.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel gehen wir einige Beispiele von Schwarmverhalten in biologischen und ingenieurtechnischen Systemen durch. Die Vielfalt ist potenziell groß, wir beschränken uns hier auf ein paar repräsentative Beispiele. Die Szenarien sind grob nach Komplexität geordnet.
Chapter
Wir erfahren, was bei der Modellierung von Schwarmsystemen besonders ist. Mit den Ratengleichungen und speziellen Differentialgleichungen für die räumliche Modellierung lernen wir zwei Techniken kennen. Abschließend lernen wir, wie man Schwarmverhalten mittels der Definition für Selbstorganisation erkennen und automatisch erzeugen kann.
Article
Full-text available
Self-assembly in biology is an inspiration for engineered large-scale multi-modular systems with desirable characteristics, such as robustness, scalability, and adaptivity. Previous works have shown that simple mobile robots can be used to emulate and study self-assembly behaviors. However, many of these studies were restricted to rather static and...
Article
Full-text available
Robot systems are actively researched for manipulation of natural plants, typically restricted to agricultural automation activities such as harvest, irrigation, and mechanical weed control. Extending this research, we introduce here a novel methodology to manipulate the directional growth of plants via their natural mechanisms for signaling and ho...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In a collaborative society, sharing information is advantageous for each individual as well as for the whole community. Maximizing the number of agent-to-agent interactions per time becomes an appealing behavior due to fast information spreading that maximizes the overall amount of shared information. However, if malicious agents are part of societ...
Cover Page
Full-text available
The workshop on self-organised construction aims at cumulating, presenting, discussing and advancing new research results from theory and practice as well as novel scientific concepts and methodologies. Originally inspired by nest construction in social insects, the general concept relies on a large number of agents that coordinate their constructi...
Article
Full-text available
Autonomous decision-making is a fundamental requirement for the intelligent behavior of individual agents and systems. For artificial systems, one of the key design prerequisites is providing the system with the ability to make proper decisions. Current literature on collective artificial systems designs decision-making mechanisms inspired mostly b...
Preprint
Full-text available
In collective robotic systems, the automatic generation of controllers for complex tasks is still a challenging problem. Open-ended evolution of complex robot behaviors can be a possible solution whereby an intrinsic driver for pattern formation and self-organization may prove to be important. We implement such a driver in collective robot systems...
Chapter
Full-text available
For self-assembly, robot swarms can be programmed to form predefined shapes. However, if the swarm is required to adapt the assembled shapes to dynamic features of the environment at runtime, then the shapes’ structures need to be dynamic, too. A prerequisite for adaptation is the exploration and detection of changes followed by appropriate rearran...
Book
Full-text available
Dieses Buch führt den Leser schnell und präzise in die Grundprinzipien der Schwarmintelligenz ein, geleitet von der Frage: Wie können große Gruppen von Tieren, Robotern oder Menschen gemeinsam Ziele erreichen? Die Wirkmechanismen der Schwarmintelligenz und der effizienten Zusammenarbeit, wie Selbstorganisation und Skalierbarkeit, werden eingehend b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the past few years, robots have found their way to the consumer market. With the rise of ubiquitous digitization, the transformative potential of robotics is immense. Yet, it is important to educate a new generation of robotics engineers on researching and engineering mobile robots and also multi-robot systems. Often, students' great intrinsic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For self-assembly, robot swarms can be programmed to form predefined shapes. However, if the swarm is required to adapt the assembled shapes to dynamic features of the environment at runtime, then the shapes' structures need to be dynamic, too. A prerequisite for adaptation is the exploration and detection of changes followed by appropriate rearran...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Self-assembly is the aggregation of simple parts into complex patterns as frequently observed in nature. Following this inspiration, creating programmable systems of self-assembly that achieve similar complexity and robustness with robots is challenging. As a role model we pick the growth of natural plants that adapts to environmental conditions an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bio-hybrid systems---close couplings of natural organisms with technology---are high potential and still underexplored. In existing work, robots have mostly influenced group behaviors of animals. We explore the possibilities of mixing robots with natural plants, merging useful attributes. Significant synergies arise by combining the plants' ability...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the dynamics of opinion formation in a group of mobile agents with noisy perceptions. Two models are applied, the 2-state Galam opinion dynamics model with contrarians and an urn model of collective decision-making. It is shown that models built on the well-mixed assumption fail to represent the dynamics of a simple scenario. The cha...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is a little crash course in robotics for the case you haven’t heard so much about robotics yet.This short introduction to mobile robotics is starting from a general perspective and quickly introduces fundamental concepts, such as sensors, actuators, and kinematics. We continue with a short introduction to open-loop and closed-loop control. Age...
Chapter
Full-text available
We introduce fundamental concepts of swarm robotics and get a little overview.Swarm robotics is a complex approach that requires an understanding of how to define swarm behavior, whether there is a minimum size of swarms, what are the requirements and properties of swarm systems. We define self-organization and develop an understanding of feedback...
Chapter
Full-text available
We study methods of collective decision-making—an important capability for a swarm to become autonomous. Collective decision-making is an essential skill for a swarm of robots in order to form an autonomous system also on the macroscopic level. We start with tradi- tional methods to describe decision-making and rational agents. Group decision- mak...
Chapter
Full-text available
We learn about why and how we model systems of swarm robotics and how sophisticated design methods can look like.Modeling is motivated and introduced as a dimension reduction technique for swarm robotics. Then we start from a discussion of local sampling, which is the challenge in swarm robotics of dealing with local information. The local samples...
Chapter
Full-text available
We do a little example tour through many methods and ideas we are going to study in this book.This is a quick walk through the methodology that is of interest to design swarm robot systems. We model a robot controller with a finite state machine for a collective-decision-making problem. We immediately face the typical challenge of distinguishing be...
Chapter
Full-text available
We try the impossible and summarize almost all we have learned about in this book.In this little case study we try to integrate all different techniques that one requires to design a system of swarm robots. The task is rather simple and we focus on adaptive aggregation, that is, the swarm has to aggregate at a particular spot determined by environm...
Chapter
Full-text available
We do an extensive check of what typical scenarios of swarm robotics have been investigated and what methods have been published.This is an extensive guide through the literature on swarm robotics. It is structured by the investigated scenarios and starts from tasks of low complexity, such as aggregation and dispersion. A discussion of pattern form...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Swarm-based braiding of structures represents a novel research direction in the domain of building architecture. The idea is that autonomous agents, for instance robots that unroll threads or plants that grow, are programmed or influenced to braid. It is an aspect of biohybrid systems where organisms and robots join forces. In order to harness this...
Article
Full-text available
Mixing societies of natural and artificial systems can provide interesting and potentially fruitful research targets. Here we mix robotic setups and natural plants in order to steer the motion behavior of plants while growing. The robotic setup uses a camera to observe the plant and uses a pair of light sources to trigger phototropic response, stee...
Article
Full-text available
Key to our project flora robotica is the idea of creating a bio-hybrid system of tightly coupled natural plants and distributed robots to grow architectural artifacts and spaces. Our motivation with this ground research project is to lay a principled foundation towards the design and implementation of living architectural systems that provide funct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within software engineering, requirements engineering starts from imprecise and vague user requirements descriptions and infers precise, formalized specifications. Techniques, such as interviewing by requirements engineers, are typically applied to identify the user's needs. We want to partially automate even this first step of requirements elicita...
Conference Paper
The application of evolutionary robotics [1] to swarm robotics gives evolutionary swarm robotics [8]. The evolution or learning of multi-agent behaviors is known to be challenging [7]. Hence, new approaches still need to be explored. Examples are innovative methods to explore environment-driven, distributed evolution [2, 4]. Here, we are inspired t...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we show that non-uniform distributions in swarms of agents have an impact on the scalability of collective decision-making. In particular, we highlight the relevance of noise-induced bistability in very sparse swarm systems and the failure of these systems to scale. Our work is based on three decision models. In the first model, each...
Technical Report
Full-text available
We develop appropriate architectural representations (modeling methods, simulation and systems of notation) that integrate models of robot mechanics and its control with relevant biological models (e.g., projection of growth, leaf-cover and structural strength models) to support the design, envisioning and evaluation of architectural flora robotica...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Robot Gardens are an augmented reality concept allowing a human user to design a biohybrid, plant-robot system. Plants growing from deliberately placed seeds are directed by robotic units that the user can position, configure and activate. For example, the robotic units may serve as physical shields or frames but they may also guide the plants' gro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Autonomous self-assembly allows to create structures and scaffolds on demand and automatically. The desired structure may be predetermined or alternatively it is the result of an artificial growth process that adapts to environmental features and to the intermediate structure itself. In a self-organizing and decentralized control approach the robot...