Scientists have created underwater robot swarms that function like schools of fish, exchanging information to monitor the environment, searching, maintaining, exploring and harvesting resources in underwater habitats.
The EU supported COCORO project explored and developed collective cognition in autonomous robots in a rich set of 10 experimental demonstrators, which are shown in 52 videos.
The COCORO project’s robot swarms not only look like schools of fish, they behave like them too. The project developed autonomous robots that interact with each other and exchange information, resulting in a cognitive system that is aware of its environment.
According to Dr. Thomas Schmickl, coordinator of the project and Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Graz in Austria, what distinguishes COCORO from other similar projects is that researchers created robot swarms that are capable of collective cognition. They work as a collective system of autonomous agents that can learn from past experience and their environment.
Robot swarm cognition in action
In one experiment, twenty Jeff robots floated in a tank of water. As they came into contact with each other, they gradually became aware of the size of their swarm. This ‘swarm size awareness’ was made possible by relaying status information using LEDs.
In another scenario, the robots’ mission was to find debris originating from a sunken airplane. Lily robots searched just below the surface while Jeff robots searched at the bottom of the pool.
Magnets were placed around the airplane to mimic an electro-magnetic signal emitted locally and the robots used their built-in compasses to locate the target. A Jeff robot soon discovered the target and settled on it at the bottom of the pool.
By transmitting LED, it ‘recruited’ the other Jeff robots, which then gathered around the target, while Lily robots collected overhead.
During field trials in Livorno Harbour, Italy, the robots were exposed to waves, currents and corrosive salt water. Despite the difficult conditions the robot swarms were able to remain clustered around their base station as well as go on “patrols” and successfully return to base.
Bio-mimicry: inspired by nature
‘We didn’t invent all of this ourselves,’ says Dr. Schmickl, explaining that COCORO’s scientists modelled collective cognition in nature. Observing how honeybees cluster, for example, helped them to develop the BEECLUST algorithm that they used to aggregate robots at a specific location. They also applied mechanisms derived from existing studies on how slime mould amoebas congregate using chemical waves to communicate with each other.
A diverse group of biologists, computer scientists and other experts participated in COCORO, which ran from 1 April 2011 until 30 September 2014 and received EUR 2.9 million in EU funding.
Although the project concluded in 2014, its results could have wide application in the fields of computer science, biology, theology, meta-cognition, psychology, and philosophy, as well as a broader impact on our economy and society. Possible applications are in distributed environmental monitoring and search&rescue operations.
‘The way in which some swarm members influence others is very similar to how trends are set by opinion leaders in our society,’ notes Dr. Schmickl.
The Latest on: Robot swarms
via Google News
The Latest on: Robot swarms
- This Robot Swarm Gets Smarter The More It Workson June 19, 2021 at 8:31 am
Advertisement Are you ready for autonomous robots that learn the more they work? I sure am not. This might be the beginning of the end. The start of SkyNet. A robotics company called Geek+ just said ...
- Swarming motility in host defenseon June 17, 2021 at 10:48 am
For decades, engineers and computer scientists have worked to incorporate aspects of swarm intelligence into technological applications. Robot swarms show promise in a variety of contexts, including ...
- Six UB researchers receive prestigious early-career grantson June 17, 2021 at 4:26 am
The federally funded projects aim to advance research and education in climate science and mitigation, the design of “robot swarms,” and more.
- Terrifying Robot “Swarm” Gets Smarter the More We Make It Workon June 16, 2021 at 1:47 pm
A robotics company called Geek+ says it’s developed a swarm of autonomous worker robots numbering in the thousands that can learn and improve the more it works, growing smarter over time. Again: The ...
- This swarm of robots gets smarter the more it workson June 16, 2021 at 9:10 am
In a Hong Kong warehouse, a swarm of autonomous robots works 24/7. They're not just working hard, they're working smart; as they operate, they get better at their job.
- Individually, These Robots Are Dumb. But When They Work Together? Awesome!on June 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Researchers have demonstrated how swarms of low-cost robots without sophisticated programming can perform complex tasks if they work together. The findings could have broad implications for the ...
- Watch a swarm of robots build a timber tower from scratchon June 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm
is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its ...
- Locus Robotics swarms DHL — At Your Doorstepon June 15, 2021 at 2:18 pm
On this episode of At Your Doorstep, Kaylee Nix explores how DHL’s new partnership with Locus Robotics will pave the way for warehouse automation.
- Six UB researchers receive prestigious early-career grants totaling nearly $3.5 millionon June 14, 2021 at 6:40 am
Federally funded projects aim to advance research and education in climate science and mitigation, the design of ‘robot swarms,’ methods for computational modeling of solar energy materials, and more ...
- Know Swarm Robotics Market Business Segments Growth: the Spotlight in 2021-on June 8, 2021 at 12:17 am
HTF MI added a new research study on Global Swarm Robotics Market in its repository, aims to offers a detailed overview of the factors influencing the worldwide business orientation and overall ...
via Bing News