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Less is more: kilobots local communication is key adapting to changing

In accordance with Dr Andreagiovanni Reina

It is our great pleasure to highlight the work of Talamali et al., 2021 published in Science Robotics last July 2021 ( They found controversial results on previous beliefs that more communication is better than less between swarm robots to find the best strategy, e.g. in food retrieving. However, with the help of fifty kilobots, they showed that in changing environment less local communication is better for the group strategy and, therefore, the group adapts better to their environment. Indeed, limiting the communication to the surrounding robots increases local information exchange and, thus, increases the adaptation to the local environment. This publication combined theory and application allowing to understand more about how animals swarms adapt their behaviour toward changing environments. This finding has broadened involvement in different fields of studies such as swarm robotics, biology, and social sciences. Furthermore, as kilobots used social interactions thanks to the voter model, this can be useful in collective behaviour in general, i.e. in animals and humans, as well as in ecosystems evolution. In conclusion, knowledge on local surroundings is what is needed to adapt properly to changing environments.

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