Proof-of-Concept Swarm of Self-Organising Drones Aimed at Fighting Wildfires

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    Swarm robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology have been progressing at an increasingly fast pace for the past two decades, thus extending their capabilities and the kinds of problems they can help tackle. UAVs can now be equipped with a range of advanced devices and sensors which enable them to navigate remote areas and to operate in dangerous environments. Given the hazardous nature of the activity, fighting fires by means of disposable and relatively inexpensive robots in place of humans is of special interest. In addition, the use of fleets of decentralised cooperative and self-organising robots results in a robust and resilient system with distributed decision-making which can cope with uncertainty, errors, and the failure or loss of a few nonessential units without jeopardising the overall mission. This paper comprises an initial proof-of-concept to demonstrate the feasibility and tremendous potential of employing swarm robotics to fight fires autonomously. Thus, an efficient yet realistic model of the spread of fire is developed, which is then coupled with a model of a fleet of self-organising drones whose coordination mechanism is based on a forgetful particle swarm algorithm.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 UK-RAS Conference: ‘Robots Working for and among Us’
    PublisherUK-RAS Network
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018
    EventThe UK-RAS Network Conference on Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Robots working for and among us - UWE Bristol Exhibition and Conference Centre (ECC), Bristol, United Kingdom
    Duration: 12 Dec 201712 Dec 2017


    ConferenceThe UK-RAS Network Conference on Robotics and Autonomous Systems
    Abbreviated titleRAS 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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