Living things that survive natural selection have adaptive skills and intelligent behavior. A swarm can perform many functions that its component individuals cannot possibly accomplish alone. For example, in addition to the ability to adapt to the environment, a swarm can construct a suitable environment for its own advantage. The constructive understanding of intelligence of living things is a very interesting approach from the point of view of biology and engineering. The aim of this second symposium SWARM2017 is the construction of a bridge between biologists and engineers who are interested in the intelligence of living things and the creation of a new academic field by integrating biology and engineering. This symposium will focus on the biological and engineering approaches for understanding swarm behavior and biologically-inspired robotics. All aspects of swarm behavior and bio-inspired robotics are welcome, including, but not limited to, the following topics:


  • Social Insects
  • Evolutionary Cooperation
  • Ethology
  • Social Physiology
  • Adaptation
  • Self-Organization
  • Sociometry
  • Phase Polyphenism
  • Quorum Sensing


  • Swarm Intelligence
  • Swarm Robotics
  • Biomimetics
  • Bio-Inspired Robotics
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Walking Robots
  • Modular Robotics
  • Decentralized Control
  • Distributed Systems

Call for Papers (PDF)

Keynote Speech

Heterogeneity within Swarms

Prof. Nigel R. Franks
(University of Bristol)

Mechanisms of Division of Labor in Ants + Evolution of Social Behavior in Robots

Prof. Laurent Keller
(University of Lausanne)

Biologically Inspired Snake-like Robots and their Practical Applications

Prof. Shigeo Hirose
(Tokyo Institute of Technology/ HiBot Corporation)

Keynote Speech 1 (October 30): Heterogeneity within Swarms by Prof. Nigel R. Franks

Consider the proverb “It would not do for us all to be the same”. This proverb is a declaration that human society only works because of differences among its members. It implies that the uniqueness of individuals is vital to the common good. In this presentation, I will consider a case in which differences among ants in a single task, new nest site evaluation, may benefit their colony hugely. Indeed, the uniqueness of individuals may be the basis of the imagination of the system. The principle that “It would not do for us all to be the same” is also manifest in science in general and interdisciplinary science especially. Moreover, if a novel bridge is to be built between biology and engineering &emdash; the effectiveness of that new enterprise will depend on the bridge sustaining two-way traffic. Perhaps controversially, I will argue that we will need something far more useful than mutual “inspiration”: we will need the different approaches of biologists and engineers to develop deeper understanding rather than superficial inspiration. Virtuous cycles of biological and engineering experimentation, where each informs the next revolution, should favour new and very exciting technology and science.

Nigel Franks graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Leeds, UK in 1977. He then began a PhD also at the University of Leeds during which he spent two years doing field work in Panama on army ants with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Nigel Franks completed his PhD in three years and was awarded the Thomas Henry Huxley Award in 1980 from the Zoological Society of London for the best British PhD in Zoology. He then received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851, which enabled him to study with Professor E. O. Wilson at Harvard. In 1982, he was appointed to a Lectureship at the University of Bath and became a full Professor there in 1995. He moved to the University of Bristol, UK in 2001 and has been there ever since. Nigel Franks has published more than 200 papers, co-authored three books and made 80 broadcasts, mostly on ants and mostly with the BBC. Nigel Franks was profiled in Science in 2006 (DOI: 10.1126/science.323.5919.1284). Nigel's work has been characterized by collaborations with very gifted mathematicians and physicists but he is a strong advocate of the simple principle that science progresses best through direct experimentation. The great thing about experiments with insects is that they do most of the work and they often give you very candid answers.

Keynote Speech 2 (October 31): Mechanisms of Division of Labor in Ants + Evolution of Social Behavior in Robots by Prof. Laurent Keller

Ants live in organized societies with a marked division of labor among workers, but little is known about how this division of labor is generated. In the first part of this talk I will present network analyses based on more than 9 million interactions to show how workers move from one behavioural group to another as they age. I will also present a model allowing one to predict the pattern of behavioural maturation of workers based on who they interact with. In the second part of the talk I will outline the conditions necessary for cooperation and communication to evolve among evolving groups of robots and report a few surprising results.

Laurent Keller is professor of evolutionary biology and head of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne. He uses ants as a model organism to study the principles governing the origin and evolution of animal societies. He has also been using experimental evolution with robots to study the evolution of altruism and communication. He has published >300 scientific articles, several books and has been awarded several prizes, including the Latsis national prize, the EO Wilson Naturalist award and the Marcel Benoist Prize.

Keynote Speech 3 (November 1): Biologically Inspired Snake-like Robots and their Practical Applications by Prof. Shigeo Hirose

In 1993, I published the book entitled “Biologically Inspired Robots Snake-Like Locomotors and Manipulators-” from Oxford University Press. It was my secret pleasure to know that the term “Biologically Inspired Robots” has become very popular since this time in Robotic community, but at the same time it was a little bit disappointing for me to know that very few of them were really used in real applications. In this talk, I will show my early study about the biological experiments using real snake and study of snake-like locomotors and manipulators, including world first snake-like locomotor ACM 3. At the same time, I will also explain that the biologically inspired snake-like robots were just recently really used in real applications, such as the 4 m long coupled-tendon snake-like manipulator CT-Arm used for the inspection of high radiation site of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor accident, and multi-wheeled snake-like locomotor ACM R4 for the same purpose and to look in the burrow of Wombat.

Shigeo Hirose is the co-founder, Chairman & Executive Director CTO of HiBot Corporation, professor emeritus of Tokyo Institute of Technology. He received his PhD degree in 1976 in Control Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and stayed in the same university as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor, distinguished professor and director of SMS development and innovation center. His research interest is in the creative design of robotic mechanisms and their control. He received more than 70 academic awards, including IEEE Robotics and Automation Award (2014), Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award (2009), Carlos Ghosn Award (2008), Medal with Purple Ribbon from Japanese government(2006), Award of Merits from IFToMM(2004), the first Pioneer in Robotics & Automation Award (1999).

Invited Talk

Sensor Modalities in Multi-Robot Coordination: Constraints and Solutions

Prof. Daniel Zelazo
(Technion - Israel Institute of Technology)

Inverse Bayesian Inference in a Swarm of Soldier Crab

Prof. Yukio-Pegio Gunji
(Waseda University)

Invited Talk 1: Sensor Modalities in Multi-Robot Coordination: Constraints and Solutions by Prof. Daniel Zelazo

The implementation of coordination and control algorithms for multi-robot systems often depends explicitly on the sensing modalities available to the robots. Common coordination goals, such as formation control, can have vastly different control algorithms depending on what information is available to each robot. In this talk, we explore how various sensing modalities, such as distance measurements or bearing measurements, are used to achieve coordination tasks like formation control and localization. Despite the differences of the sensing modalities, we show that they share a common underlying conceptual and theoretical framework based on rigidity theory. The talk will focus on recent results in bearing-only formation control and highlight open challenges in this arena.

Daniel Zelazo is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. He received his BSc (99) and MEng (01) degrees in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following his master study, he spent 3.5 years in Japan working on audio compression algorithms at Texas Instruments Japan, and finally teaching English at a private high school in Tokyo. In 2004 he began his doctoral studies at the University of Washington in the Department Aeronautics and Astronautics, and graduated in 2009. From 2010-2012 he served as a post-doctoral research associate and lecturer at the Institute for Systems Theory & Automatic Control in the University of Stuttgart. His research interests include topics related to multi-agent systems, control and optimization, and graph theory.

Invited Talk 2: Inverse Bayesian Inference in a Swarm of Soldier Crab by Prof. Yukio-Pegio Gunji

Although animals showing collective behavior have a tendency of getting together, they sometimes avoid their group mates to make a swarm being split. Through the experiments on behavior of soldier crabs, we confirm that soldier crabs’ decision making on whether they follow mates or not is dependent on local and temporal condition, and that swarming behavior equipped with intrinsic diverse motions could be explained by mutual anticipation under asynchronous updating. Recent study clarify that some social animals could make decisions based on Bayesian inference. The natural conditions surrounding animals are, however, instable, and optimal strategy chosen by Bayesian inference is inadequate and insufficient. We here introduce not only Bayesian but inverse Bayesian inference to mimic soldier crabs’ decision making. Inverse Bayesian inference is proposed by one of authors and is implemented by changing hypotheses due to the environment. We show that collective behavior of soldier crabs could be explained by a pair of Bayesian and inverse Bayesian inference, and that mutual anticipation with asynchronous updating could be expressed as Bayesian and inverse Bayesian inference with synchronous updating.

Yukio-Pegio Gunji:
  • 2014-Present, School of Fundamental Science and Technology, Waseda University
  • 2012-2015, Visiting Professor, University of West England
  • 1999-2014 Professor, Faculty of Science, Kobe University
  • 1993-1999 Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Kobe University
  • 1987-1993 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science, Kobe University
  • 1987 Doctor of Science (Tohoku University)
  • 1982 Faculty of Science, Tohoku University
Books: “Life Theory” (2006. Tetsugaku shobou, Tokyo), “Nature of Time” (2008. Kodan-sha, Tokyo). “Life-bot No. 1” (2010. Seido-sha, Tokyo). “Consciousness of Swarm” (2013. PHP. Pub. Co., Tokyo). “Philosophy of Living things and Raw things.” (2014. Seido-sha, Tokyo). All are in Japanese.


Bio-inspired control for interlimb coordination and adaptation in legged robots

Deadline for poster abstract submission: June 23, 2017
Notification of acceptance: July 24, 2017
Camera-Ready Submission: September 1, 2017
Workshop: October 29 (full-day), 2017


Biological walking systems can adaptively form their interlimb coordination for locomotion to deal with different situations. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that the adaptive coordination emerges from dynamical interactions of neural activities, plasticity, musculoskeletal systems, and the environment. Achieving this on legged robots remains a grand challenge. Thus our workshop “Bio-inspired control for interlimb coordination and adaptation in legged robots” at SWARM 2017 will bring together leading experts, working in the domains of bio-inspired control of legged robots, to present their recent achievements on robot locomotion with adaptive interlimb coordination for speed-dependent adaptation, environment-dependent adaptation, body-dependent adaptation, and task-dependent adaptation. We will also discuss future directions to overcome this challenge.

The full-day workshop is composed of the following parts:
  1. Invited talks by experts from animal locomotion, bio-inspired locomotion control, and legged robots,
  2. Poster presentations,
  3. Discussion and future steps
We are also pleased to invite contributions in the form of 1-2 pages conf. style abstract on (but are not limited to) the following topics. The selected contributions will be presented in a form of a poster during the workshop and the SWARM conference. We particularly encourage young scientists to contribute and attend, even presenting their research at an early stage an engage in discussions. We also welcome live demonstrations on robot locomotion and collective behavior. Submissions have to be sent to poma[at] (please replace [at] with @) in PDF format. One author per accepted workshop contribution (poster, demo) and attendee are required to register for the workshop and SWARM2017.
We hope that you will be able to attend and look forward to seeing you in Kyoto, Japan!

The workshop organizers:

Poramate Manoonpong, Shinya Aoi, and Yuichi Ambe

The workshop topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Animal locomotion,
  • Bio-inspired locomotion control,
  • Legged robots,
  • Dynamic locomotion
  • Adaptive behavior

Tentative List of speakers:

  • Amir Ayali (School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Emily Baird (Lund Vision Group, Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
  • Poramate Manoonpong (Embodied AI & Neurorobotics Lab, Centre for BioRobotics, The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
  • Malte Schilling (The Center of Excellence for Cognitive Interaction Technology, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany)
  • Yuichi Ambe (Department of Applied Information Sciences, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan)
  • Shinya Aoi (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan)
  • Gen Endo (School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
  • Yasuhiro Fukuoka (Intelligent Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, Ibaraki University, Ibaraki, Japan)
  • Alexander Spröwitz (Dynamic Locomotion Group, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Auke Ijspeert (Biorobotics Laboratory, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Dai Owaki (Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan)

Organized Session

Organized session proposals are invited. An orgnized session proposal should include the title, aim and scope of the session, and the names, e-mail addresses, affiliations and short bios of the organizers. The proposal can include additional information such as a list of potential contributors. At least three papers should be arranged in an organized session.
Proposals should be sent by e-mail to SWARM 2017 Secretariat.
All proposals should be submitted by May 12, 2017. Early proposals are highly encouraged.

Accepted Sessions

Advanced control methods and technologies for bio-inspired robotic locomotion by Fumihiko Asano (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

This organized session invites studies on advanced methods of motion generation, stability analysis, learning control and mechanism design for biomorphic locomotion robots and its support technologies. In this session, the presenters discuss mainly about mathematical methods for achieving robot locomotion and its understanding from the biological point of view. We also welcome studies on the concepts of novel robot locomotion as non-existent and unknown creatures, and its advantages in adaptation to a complicated environment. This session provides a forum to discuss the necessity and direction of novel and unknown moving forms of locomotion robots.

Insect's movement patterns revealed by virtual reality system by Ryusuke Fujisawa (Hachinohe Institute of Technology)

This organized session invites studies on movement patterns of insects. The patterns include sophisticated strategies such as efficient searching behavior. The presenters discuss movement patterns of insects which can be revealed by novel tracking systems, especially virtual reality systems. This session contributes novel measurement systems, analyses and observational studies of animal movements.

Recent advances in snake robotics by Jan Tommy Gravdahl (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Tetsushi Kamegawa (Okayama University, Japan), and Motoyasu Tanaka (The University of Electro-Communications, Japan)

Snake robots, both crawling, swimming and flying, continue to attract interest from the robotics community. The biologically inspired flexible body of such robots enable motion and applications that are not possible by other types of robots, and although research in this field has been conducted for several decades, there are still both theoretical and practical aspects of snake robot locomotion that has not been addressed. In this organised session, we invite researchers to present their recent work on all aspects of snake robot research. Possible topics include, mechanical design, mechatronics, mathematical modelling, control and analysis, but all new research connected to snake robotics is welcomed.

Important Dates

Submission of Abstracts and Papers

May 1, 2017 May 31, 2017 (Extended)

Notification of Acceptance

July 1, 2017 July 31, 2017 (Extended)

Camera-Ready Submission

September 1, 2017


There are three options for submission: full paper, short paper or abstract. The only difference between the formats of these options is the number of maximum pages. Full papers and short papers have an 8-page or a 4-page maximum length and should report on new unpublished work. Surveys are also welcome as full papers. Abstracts are limited to 2 pages and can report on previously published work with the expectation of offering new viewpoints on that work. On submission, you will be able to choose your preferred presentation style—oral or poster presentation.

  • Full paper: up to 8 pages (additional page(s) to be charged)
  • Short paper: up to 4 pages
  • Abstract: up to 2 pages


The use of LaTeX/MS-Word with the following style format is strongly recommended for preparing your manuscripts.
The MS-WORD template in a single-column format is available only for abstracts without figures and tables.

LaTeX (zip) LaTeX (tgz) MS-Word MS-Word (1 Column Abstract) PDF Sample

Automated Submission System

Manuscripts formatted according to the required style should be submitted via the EasyChair.
You will need an EasyChair account to submit your paper. If you do not have one, create an account, then submit here

Special Issue

Selected papers will be invited for further revision and extension for possible publication
in a special issue of Artificial Life and Robotics, Springer.


Advisory Committee

  • Andrew Adamatzky (University of the West England, UK)
  • Hajime Asama (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • Tamim Asfour (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany)
  • Dora Biro (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Howie Choset (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
  • Jean-Louis Deneubourg (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • Simon Garnier (Rutgers University, USA)
  • Jan Tommy Gravdahl (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
  • Yoshinori Hayakawa (Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Takashi Ikegami (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • Yingmin Jia (Beihang University, China)
  • Jeff Jones (University of the West England, UK)
  • Francesco Mondada (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • James Marshall (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Toshiya Matsushima (Hokkaido University, Japan)
  • Hiraku Nishimori (Hiroshima University, Japan)
  • Rolf Pfeifer (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Ioannis Poulakakis (University of Delaware, USA)
  • Stephen Pratt (Arizona State University, USA)
  • Jonathan Rossiter (Bristol University, UK)
  • Takao Sasaki (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Hiroshi Sato (National Defense Academy of Japan, Japan)
  • Masashi Shiraishi (Waseda University, Japan)
  • Tomohiro Shirakawa (National Defense Academy of Japan, Japan)
  • David Sumpte (Uppsala Universitet, Sweden)
  • Dimitris P. Tsakiris (University of Crete, Greece)
  • Kazuo Tuchiya (Kyoto University, Japan)
  • Florentin Wörgötter (Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, Germany)

General Chair

Fumitoshi Matsuno (Kyoto University, Japan)

Vice-General Chairs

  • Marco Dorigo (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • Yukio Gunji (Waseda University, Japan)
  • Kazuki Tsuji (University of the Ryukyus, Japan)
    • Program Chair

      Kazuhiro Ohkura (Hiroshima University, Japan)

      Vice-Program Chairs

      • Kenji Matsuura (Kyoto University, Japan)
      • Toru Namerikawa (Keio University, Japan)
      • Florentin Wörgötter (Georg-August Universitat Gottingen, Germany)

      Workshop/Organized Session Chair

      Poramate Manoonpong (The University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)

      Publication Chair

      Keitaro Naruse (The University of Aizu, Japan)

      Publicity Chair

      Toshiyuki Yasuda (University of Toyama, Japan)

      Registration Chair

      Tetsushi Kamegawa (Okayama University, Japan)

      Finance Chair

      Kazuyuki Ito (Hosei University, Japan)

      Local Arrangement Chair

      Shinya Aoi (Kyoto University, Japan)

      Local Arrangement Vice-Chair

      Shigeto Dobata (Kyoto University, Japan)


      • Hemma Philamore (Kyoto University, Japan)
      • Toshiyuki Yasuda (University of Toyama, Japan)

      Program Committee

      • Andrew Adamatzky (University of the West England, UK)
      • Hitoshi Aonuma (Hokkaido University, Japan)
      • Fumihiko Asano (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
      • Shunichi Azuma (Nagoya University, Japan)
      • Mauro Birattari (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
      • Shigeto Dobata (Kyoto University, Japan)
      • Takahiro Endo (Kyoto University, Japan)
      • Ryusuke Fujisawa (Hachinohe Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Daniel I. Goldman (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
      • Roderich Groß (The University of Sheffield, UK)
      • Takeshi Hatanaka (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Kiyohiko Hattori (Saitama Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Sabine Hauert (Bristol University, UK)
      • Tomohisa Hayakawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Hiroyuki Iizuka (Hokkaido University, Japan)
      • Takashi Ikegami (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
      • Yusuke Ikemoto (Toyama University, Japan)
      • Hideaki Ishii (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Masato Ishikawa (Osaka University, Japan)
      • Kenji Iwadate (Kitami Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Kazuyuki Ito (Hosei University, Japan)
      • Jeff Jones (University of the West England, UK)
      • Yoshiaki Katada (Setsunan University, Japan)
      • Tetsushi Kamegawa (Okayama University, Japan)
      • Takashi Kawakami (Hokkaido University of Science, Japan)
      • Tae-Hyoung Kim (Chung-Ang University, Korea)
      • Masao Kubo (National Defense Academy of Japan, Japan)
      • Poramate Manoonpong (The University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
      • Yoshiyui Matsumura (Shinshu University, Japan)
      • Kamilo Melo (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
      • Masao Migita (Shiga University, Japan)
      • Shuhei Miyashita (MIT, USA)
      • Toru Moriyama (Shinshu University, Japan)
      • Masaaki Nagahara (The University of Kitakyushu, Japan)
      • Keitaro Naruse (University of Aizu, Japan)
      • Hiraku Nishimori (Hiroshima University, Japan)
      • Hemma Philamore (Kyoto University, Japan)
      • Stephen Pratt (Arizona State University, USA)
      • Jonathan Rossiter (Bristol University, UK)
      • Kazunori Sakurama (Tottori University, Japan)
      • Hiroshi Sato (National Defense Academy of Japan, Japan)
      • Hyungbo Shim (Seoul National University, Korea)
      • Hiroyuki Shimoji (Hokkaido University, Japan)
      • Masashi Shiraishi (Waseda University, Japan)
      • Tomohiro Shirakawa (National Defense Academy of Japan, Japan)
      • Metin Sitti (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
      • Serge Stinckwich (Université Pierre et Marie Curie/IRD, France)
      • Ken Sugawara (Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan)
      • Keiji Suzuki (Future University Hakodate, Japan)
      • Ikuo Suzuki (Kitami Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Keiki Takadama (The University of Electro-Communications, Japan)
      • Vito Trianni (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Italy)
      • Motoyasu Tanaka (The University of Electro-Communications, Japan)
      • Elio Tuci (Middlesex University London, UK)
      • Ali Emre Turgut (University of Leuven, Belgium)
      • Masaki Yamakita (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
      • Masahito Yamamoto (Hokkaido University, Japan)
      • Kazuaki Yamada (Toyo University, Japan)
      • Toshiyuki Yasuda (Univesity of Toyama, Japan)
      • Stefan John Witwicki (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
      • Daniel Zelazo (Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)


The Clock Tower Centennial Hall, Yoshida Campus, Kyoto University

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If you have any questions regarding the website or the SWARM 2017 program, please feel free to contact SWARM Secretariat:
swarm2017[at] (Please replace [at] with @ in the e-mail address.)