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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hive Robotics

Swarming robotics to perform tasks collaboratively is something we examined in warehouse applications.  A different, but structurally similar problem came up recently and I did some searching for the state of the art. This example came up.  A way to mock up the idea at least.   See the video linked to:

In these bot hookups, the machines meld their minds    In Science News: 

New composite robots take coordination to a new level   By Maria Temming   Meet the first fleet of hive-minded robots.

These robots can latch onto one another and link up their individual “nervous systems” — the network of connections between their computer processors, cameras, wheels and other gadgetry — to create a single-minded machine. The composite robots, reported online September 12 in Nature Communications, pave the way for a new generation of machines that can change their shape on the fly.

In previous robots made up of many smaller machines, each robotic building block maintained control over its own nervous system. It was “a little bit like if we had a bunch of people joining together to do something,” explains study coauthor Marco Dorigo, an engineer at Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. “They were trying to coordinate by exchanging messages with neighbors without anyone being in charge.” These multi-bodied robots could link up to create different shapes, unlike solo devices. But the lack of centralized control meant the robot collectives were clumsier and had slower reaction times than stand-alone bots.  .... " 

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