Synergistic Interactions in Swarms of Heterogenous Agents

Swarmix project

Swarmix project is funded by the SNSF Sinergia foundation to investigate cooperation and interactions in bio-synthetic swarms. More information about the project can be found on official project website:


About Swarmix project

The SNSF Sinergia SWARMIX project is about laying the foundations for the design, implementation, and adaptive control of heterogeneous multi-agent systems that are composed of humans, animals, and robots working in cooperation to solve distributed tasks that require a wide diversity of sensory motor and cognitive skills. The aim is to provide each component of the mixed swarm with a high level of autonomy in order to allow it to fully exploit its own unique skills and abilities, and at the same time to set up close bidirectional interactions and information flows between all system components in order to ensure overall synergistic cooperation.


The main novelty of this project lies in the cooperative integration of a possibly large number of humans, animals, and robots in tight cooperation in one single networked system with distributed control. To the best of our knowledge this would be the first research addressing peer-to-peer cooperation between humans, animals, and robots.


The research work in the SWARMIX project will be guided by the creation of a specific validation scenario composed of humans, dogs, and small-sized UAVs aimed at performing search-and-rescue (SAR) missions in outdoor civilian domains. The choice for search-and-rescue missions is inspired by their practical/humanitarian relevance, and by the fact that these applications are often used in the scientific domain as reference test to assess the performance of collective cooperative systems.


Research topics at EPFL

The research work at EPFL is oriented to provide a methodology to control a collective system of flying robots that needs to cooperate with unpredictable agents in a heterogeneous collective system, dogs and humans. The goal of the control methodology is to maintain coherence in the heterogeneous system in a sense of maintaining communication links between agents while performing exploration related tasks. The research activities covered by the project consist of building the common environment representation between heterogeneous agents and using that information to reactively control flying robots to adapt to the behavior of unpredictable agents.



ETH Zürich (project leader)

IDSIA Lugano

ELTE Eotvos Budapest