The development of complex systems ensembles that operate in uncertain environments is a major challenge. The reason for this is that system designers are not able to fully specify the system during specification and development and before it is being deployed. Natural swarm systems enjoy similar characteristics, yet, being self-adaptive and being able to self-organize, these systems show beneficial emergent behaviour. Similar concepts can be extremely helpful for artificial systems, especially when it comes to multi-robot scenarios, which require such solution in order to be applicable to highly uncertain real world application. In this article, we present a comprehensive overview over state-of-the-art solutions in emergent systems, self-organization, self-adaptation, and robotics. We discuss these approaches in the light of a framework for multi-robot systems and identify similarities, differences missing links and open gaps that have to be addressed in order to make this framework possible.