Hard Tasks for Weak Robots: The Role of Common Knowledge in Pattern Formation by Autonomous Mobile Robots
Autonomous identical robots represented by unit discs move deterministically in the plane. They do not have any common coordinate system, do not communicate, do not have memory of the past and are totally asynchronous. Gathering such robots means forming a configuration for which the union of all discs representing them is connected. We solve the gathering problem for at most four robots. This is the first algorithmic result on gathering robots represented by two-dimensional figures rather than points in the plain: we call such robots fat.