We investigate the capabilities and properties of distributed systems that consist of myriads of simple computational particles. These particle systems are able to self-organize in order to solve their designated tasks without any central control. Self-organizing particle systems have many interesting applications like coating objects for monitoring and repair purposes and forming nano-scale devices for surgery and molecular-scale electronic structures. The notion of programmable matter is tightly interwoven with the term self-organizing particle systems, which has the ability to change its physical properties (shape, density, moduli, conductivity, optical properties, etc.) in a programmable fashion.

The Amoebot Model. Our work aims to build a theoretical foundation for self-organizing particle systems that allows rigorous algorithmic research. To this end, we proposed the amoebot model for self-organizing particle systems in 2014 as a framework that captures many underlying assumptions and physical properties of particle systems in general. We’ve since used the amoebot model to develop provably efficient algorithms for behaviors such as shape formation, coating, and leader election. A detailed description of the model can be found here.


Book Chapters

Refereed Journal Papers

Refereed Conference Proceedings

Other Publications


Invited Talks

Conference Talks

Poster Presentations

Other Presentations


Current Team

Andréa W. Richa

PI / President’s Professor, Arizona State University[Website]

Christian Scheideler

PI/Professor University of Paderborn

Joshua Daymude

Professor, Arizona State University [website]

Kristian Hinnenthal

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Paderborn [website]

Joseph L. Broines

Ph.D Student, Arizona State University

Jamison W. Weber

Postdoctoral Scholar, Arizona State University

Tishya Chhabra

Undergraduate, Arizona State University

Past Members and Collaborators

Robert Gmyr

Research Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Research


Thim Strothmann

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Paderborn


Zahra Derakhshandeh

Professor, California State University – East Bay


Shlomi Dolev

Professor, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Rida Bazzi

Professor, Arizona State University


Ryan Yiu

Software Engineer, American Express

Alexandra Porter

Ph.D Student, Stanford University

Noble Harasha

Undergraduate, MIT

Ziad Abdelkarim

Project Manager, Dell Technologies

Briggs Richardson

Software Engineer, Garmin

Christopher Boor

Computer Science Undergraduate, Arizona State University[website]