Publication:Declarative Physicomimetics for Tangible Swarm Application Development

Publication: Declarative Physicomimetics for Tangible Swarm Application Development

  • Authors: Özgür, Ayberk; Johal, Wafa; Güneysu Özgür, Arzu; Mondada, Francesco; Dillenbourg, Pierre

Emerging interest in exploring proximal Human-Swarm Interaction has started approaching the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) vision of tangible, bidirectional interaction with intelligent swarms made up of “radical atoms” [2]. The recent years have witnessed significant progress towards these once-hypothetical materials in the form of Tangible Swarm Robots, for which the focus shifted towards developing applications for the user to interact with, rather than controllers for the robots to solve tasks. Still, how and with which tools HCI designers could build such applications in a swift and reusable manner is an open issue. We propose here such an application development framework which combines two existing approaches: First, we program swarms with virtual forces that describe and create robot motion (i.e. physicomimetics [4]) instead of coding individual or collective actions over time. Second, we use the Qt Modeling Language (QML) [1], a declarative programming language originally designed to develop graphical user interfaces by declaring objects and binding their properties and events to create the program’s structure and flow. Our core idea is to define the swarm of robots and their behaviors (forces, tangible input detectors etc.) in terms of these modular and reusable constructs. Below, we provide the program for a rudimentary “bubble shooter” game that illustrates this (details such as calibration values and game logic omitted), see Fig. 1 for its operation.


  • Published in: 11th International Conference, ANTS 2018, Rome, Italy, October 29–31, 2018
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00533-7
  • Date: 2018
Posted on: June 18, 2019