The Swarm of Tiny Autonomous Robots (STAR) platform is a complete system for the development, testing and demonstration of swarm algorithms. Each robot within the system is capable of communicating with the other robots in order to perform complex tasks using simple instructions. The goal is to create a networked system that operates without a central controlling node.
Key features of swarm intelligence include flexibility, robustness, decentralization, and self-organization . In order to demonstrate these features, each robot is capable of limited range-finding and neighbor identification via modulated infrared in all directions, radio communication over a 2.4 GHz network, and motion on a flat field using independent bilateral motors. An 8-bit microcontroller is used for real time processing of sensor data and rule based decision making. These rules connect various low-level algorithms for handling sensors and communication, and provide a high-level structure to easily develop and modify the behavior of the individual robots.