Call for Papers: Nano and micro swarm robotics

Examples of self-organisation at the micro and nanoscale, from assembly of new materials, to bacterial biofilm formation, cancer, or tissue organisation, result from very large numbers of tiny agents moving and interacting with their local environment. Understanding and controlling such micro and nanoswarms could lead to breakthroughs in medicine, new functional materials, or de novo lifeforms. Yet discovering these emergent properties, observing them, and engineering them requires an entirely new toolsets that builds on cross-disciplinary integration from microrobotics, synthetic biology, and bio imaging, to swarm engineering, large-scale simulation, and machine learning.

With this special issue, we aim to explore the latest in the engineering of nano and micro robot swarms, including:

  • Nano/microrobot swarm design
  • Characterisation (e.g. imaging) of nano/microswarms
  • Self-assembly at the nano/microscale
  • Novel computational tools to simulate nano/microswarms
  • Novel control mechanisms and swarm algorithms for nano/microrobots
  • Automatic discovery of nano/microswarm strategies using AI
  • Bio-hybrid nano/microswarms
  • Swarm engineering to understand life at the nano/microscale
  • Emergent and embodied intelligent behaviours of nano/microswarms
  • Applications of nano/microswarms including biomedical, environmental, manufacturing, and material science
  • Nano/microswarms and society: ethics, policy, and regulation

Presubmission enquiry

We recommend the interested authors to submit a presubmission enquiry to Sabine Hauert ( prior to submission. A presubmission enquiry must include article title, author list, and abstract (about 200 words). We will assess if the work matches the scope of the special issue and meets the journal’s expectations.

Instructions for submission: 

Make submissions here. After selecting the appropriate article type, you will be transferred to a main submission screen. Under the "details" tab, and under the "Collection" heading, please ensure to select "Special Issue: Nano and micro swarm robotics." 


Josh Bongard (University of Vermont)

Xiaoguang Dong (Vanderbilt University) Sabine Hauert (University of Bristol)

Metin Sitti (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems)

Submission deadline: 30 June 2023