Swarm behaviour emerges from rules which govern the interaction between different agents and between each agent and their surrounding environment. Birds flocking, fish schooling, and bee foraging are examples of swarm behaviours found in natural systems. Two decades ago, roboticists found these systems to be an interesting source of inspiration due to their scalability, robustness, adaptability, and emergent features.

Taking inspiration from nature to engineer robot systems involves drawing a set of assumptions and experiment scenarios. These assumptions, in many cases, evolved to become constraints surrounding the research culture around swarm robotics. As the field has grown to enter the scene of real-world applications, the initial assumptions have also grown to become stereotypes that hold back some of the research practices in swarm robotics.

The aim of the ’Breaking Swarm Stereotypes’ workshop is to challenge conventional perceptions and explore new dimensions in the field of swarm robotics, as well as foster interdisciplinary discussions. By bringing together roboticists from different sectors, we aim to synergise the efforts of navigating the research landscape of swarm robotics by exploring conventionally overlooked areas.

Stereotypes to Break

  • Swarms have to be made up of a very large number of ”simple” individuals.
  • Swarms will only result in ”toy scenarios”.
  • Swarms have to be fully decentralised.
  • Swarms are not safe.
  • Swarms have to be dense.
  • Swarms are homogeneous.


TimeSection SpeakerTentative Talk Title
Morning Session
09:00-09:45Panel 1Chair – Roderich Gross
1. Alyssa Pierson
2. Amanda Prorok
3. Tin Lun Lam
4. Michael Otte
What stereotypes need to be debunked?
09:45-10:00Interactive gameLouisa Di FeliceThe Human Swarm Game
10:30-11:00Talk: Stereotype 1Heiko HamannChallenging Scalability in Robot Swarms: Robustness under Dynamic Swarm Size
11:00-11:30Talk: Stereotype 2Takeshi IkegamiEmergence of Individuality from Collective Autonomous Robots
11:30-12:00Talk: Stereotype 3Eduardo CastelloBlockchain-based swarms: past, present, and especially future
12:00-12:30Poster SessionParticipants1-minute flash talk to provide introduction to posters
Afternoon Session
13:30-13:40Industry TalkAron KisdiForest Ranger, how robot swarms can protect our forests
13:40-14:10Talk: Stereotype 4Ani HsiehRobot Collectives for Environmental Stewardship
14:10-14:40Talk: Stereotype 5Airile ChapmanSacrifice: Standing Stone and Swarm Robotics
14:40-15:10Talk: Stereotype 6Marco Dorigo, Mary Katherine HeinrichSwitching between decentralised and centralized
control in swarm robotics
15:10-15:45BreakAirlie Chapman
15:45-16:15Talk: Stereotype 7TBATBA
16:15-17:00Panel 2Chair – Sabine Hauert
1. Gennaro Notomista
2. Andreas Kolling
3. Mohammad Soorati
Swarms for People
17:00-17:15Closing and AwardsOrganisers


Call for contributions

We welcome submissions of poster abstracts, videos, and demonstrations.

Selected authors of poster abstracts will be invited to present their work in the form of a 1-slide 1-minute pitch talk and poster at the workshop itself. The abstract should be a maximum of 2 pages.

Selected demonstrations and videos will be shown during the workshop.

Topics of interest:

  • Semi-centralised robot swarms.
  • Sparse robot swarms.
  • Robot swarms are composed of sophisticated robots.
  • Security of swarm robotics.
  • Swarm system integration into larger systems.
  • Multi-robot systems.
  • Heterogeneous swarms.
  • Swarms across scales.
  • Swarms in art.

The abstract should be submitted via the form below in IEEE PDF format.


Guidelines and templates can be found below:

ICRA Guidelines / LaTex Template / Word Template

Demonstration descriptions should be submitted via https://forms.gle/Me19DcNAC6uNDXkC9

Videos should be submitted via https://forms.gle/AvehY5D2h3zgbVRx6

We will accept submissions on a rolling basis, with three deadlines:

  • Early bird deadline, 1st March
  • Second deadline, 1st April
  • Final deadline, 1st May

We aim to notify authors of acceptance within two weeks of each submission deadline.

All contributions will receive at least 2 reviews. We encourage all suitable submissions, either new or previously published work, and interdisciplinary thinking. We will award prizes (gift vouchers) for the best poster, best demonstration, and best video. There will also be an overall award for the “best idea to break swarm stereotypes“, the prize being a LIMO Cobot worth £4000. This will be judged jointly by the Contributions Committee through their reviews, and the Organizers on site.

Make sure to register for the conference at https://2024.ieee-icra.org/registration/ in addition to submitting your abstracts, demos and videos to the forms above.

Further information about the poster and 1-minute pitch will be updated in due course.



Sponsored By

The workshop is supported by the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot Systems.