The Robot in the Swarm : An Investigation into Agent Embodiment within Virtual Robotic Swarms
This paper explores the notion of degree of embodiment within the context of autonomous agent research, specifically within swarms of virtual robotic agents. Swarms of virtual robots with systematically varied degrees of embodiment are designed and implemented, and a 3D world created for them. Experimental simulations are then carried out wherein groups of these robots perform swarm tasks, and levels of performance for each group are measured and analysed. Analysis of this data suggests that there is no simple linear or monotonic correlation between degree of agent embodiment and swarm performance (in this particular virtual environment), but rather that an ideal degree of embodiment exists to create a superior swarm behaviour for a given task in a given environment.