The Swarmanoid project (IST-022888) is a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET-OPEN) project funded by the European Commission.

The main scientific objective of this research project is the design, implementation and control of a novel distributed robotic system. The system will be made up of heterogeneous, dynamically connected, small autonomous robots. Collectively, these robots will form what we call a swarmanoid. The swarmanoid that we intend to build will be comprised of numerous (about 60) autonomous robots of three types: eye-bots,hand-bots, and foot-bots.

The Swarmanoid project is the successor project to the Swarm-bots project, and will build on the results obtained during the Swarm-bots project. Information on the Swarm-bots project can be found at the following address: www.swarm-bots.org.

The project coordinator is Professor Marco Dorigo.

Dr. Marco Dorigo, the project coordinator and one of the founders of the swarm intelligence and swarm robotics research fields, has been awarded, in November 2007, the “CajAstur International Prize for Soft Computing“.

Swarmanoid Hardware

1-Foot-Bots : 

The foot-bot is a particular configuration of modules based on the marXbot robotic platform. The foot-bot configuration includes a top CPU and vision module, a distance scnaner, a range and bearing module, a self-assembling module and a basic (mobility & battery) module.

Foot-bot Features:

  • Compact size: 17 cm diameter x 29 cm, 1.8 kg
  • Modular system
  • High computational power including float processing
  • Distance scanner measuring distance up to 1.5m
  • Two cameras, one mounted as omnicamera
  • Self-assembling mechanism
  • Hot-swappable battery
  • Treel mobility system


Foot-bots can self-assemble and have many ways to communicate to coordinate their actions. Color display is probaly one of the most interesting situated communication.


The hand-bot is a fully new concept of robot specilized in both climbing vertical surfaces and manipulating objects. The hand-bot is not able to move on the ground (rely for this on the foot-bots and on self-assembling features) and has a very weak perception of distant environment (rely for this on the eye-bots)

Hand-bot Features:

  • Compact size: 38 x 44 x 30 cm
  • Vertical mobility using a rope launched by the robot to magnetically attach to the ceiling.
  • Two grippers for aid to the mobility and object manipulation.
  • Otherwise the technology (processors, camera, most sensors) is shared with foot-bots and eye-bots.


Interaction between real foot-bots and one hand-bot:




The eye-bot has 8 rotors, arranged in a coaxial quadrotor configuration, that provide the main lifting force and control. The co-axial arrangement allows for a smaller size and increased payload capability.

Eye-Bot Features:

  • Robust and light weight body, 50 cm in diameter
  • Jigsaw-like carbon-fiber airframe assembly
  • Eight powerful and efficient brushless motors
  • Endurance of 10-20min
  • Simple collision protection system for indoors
  • Ceiling attachment device (extend mission endurance, acquire birds eye view of environment & stabilise camera system)
  • IMX.31 CPU, same as the foot-bot and hand-bot
  • Designed or swarm operation ad coordination

Eye-Bot – Sensing Abilities:

  • Custom 360° pan-tilt camera system, equipped with 3MP camera
  • Optical 360° infrared environment distance scanner
  • Advanced 3D relative positioning sensor for swarm coordination/communication
  • Custom 6-Degree of freedom inertial sensing
  • Sonar and differential pressure sensors for altitude determination
  • Magnetometer for heading determination
  • Horizontal RGB led rings (local visual communication)


Resource Links:

Check the projects website for more information: http://www.swarmanoid.org
For youtube Video: http://youtu.be/M2nn1X9Xlps


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