HERD: Human-AI Collaboration

- Engaging and Controlling Swarms of Robots and Drones

The HERD project is a four-year research project supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark for the project DIREC - Digital Research Centre Denmark under grant (9142-00001B). 

The project will develop technologies that enable end-users to effectively engage and control systems composed of multiple robots.Systems composed of multiple robots will significantly increase the value of industrial products, since current tasks can be done faster and at a lower cost, and entirely new tasks that require multiple coordinated robots can be addressed. 

Project period: 2021-2025
: DKK 17.08 million
Robots and drones, such as AgroIntelli’s autonomous farming robot and Robotto's emergency response drones, are expanding their roles. AgroIntelli envisions multiple robots working concurrently in a field to boost efficiency, suggesting that swarm coordination could allow them to dynamically adjust tasks based on conditions. Similarly, Robotto sees the potential in using multiple drones for broader, real-time data coverage in emergency situations. The aim is to develop algorithms for drone coordination and single-console swarm management, streamlining operations for tasks like search & rescue, firefighting, inspections, and first responder missions.


  • Christensen, A. L., Grøntved, K. A. R., Hoang, M. T. O., van Berkel, N., Skov, M., Scovill, A., ... & Merritt, T. (2022). The HERD Project: Human-Multi-Robot Interaction in Search & Rescue and in Farming. In Adjunct Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (pp. 1-4)
  • Hettich, A. (2023), Reconnecting with Robotics via Digital Platforms: A Case of Agricultural Robotics, The 46th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS2023), Porvoo, Finland
  • Hoang, MT.O, van Berkel, N., Skov, M.B.,  and ., Merritt, T. (2023). Challenges and Requirements in Multi-Drone Interfaces. In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA'23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 65, 1–9.
  • Hoang, MT.O., Grøntved, K.A.R., van Berkel, N., Skov, M.B., Christensen, A.L., Merritt, T. (2023). Drone Swarms to Support Search and Rescue Operations: Opportunities and Challenges. In: Dunstan, B.J., Koh, J.T.K.V., Turnbull Tillman, D., Brown, S.A. (eds) Cultural Robotics: Social Robots and Their Emergent Cultural Ecologies. Springer Series on Cultural Computing. Springer, Cham.

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