The embodiment of cockroach aggregation behavior in a group of micro-robots

Simon Garnier, Christian Jost, Jacques Gautrais, Masoud Asadpour, Gilles Caprari, Raphaël Jeanson, Anne Grimal, Guy Theraulaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We report the faithful reproduction of the self-organized aggregation behavior of the German cockroach Blattella germanica with a group of robots. We describe the implementation of the biological model provided by Jeanson et al. in Alice robots, and we compare the behaviors of the cockroaches and the robots using the same experimental and analytical methodology. We show that the aggregation behavior of the German cockroach was successfully transferred to the Alice robot despite strong differences between robots and animals at the perceptual, actuatorial, and computational levels. This article highlights some of the major constraints one may encounter during such a work and proposes general principles to ensure that the behavioral model is accurately transferred to the artificial agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-408
Number of pages22
JournalArtificial Life
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


  • Aggregation
  • Autonomous robots
  • Biomimetic robotics
  • Self-organization
  • Swarm robotics


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