When roboticists create behaviors for teams of robots, they first build algorithms that focus on the intended task. Then they wrap safety behaviors around those primary algorithms to keep the machines from running into each other. Each robot is essentially given an invisible bubble that other robots must stay away from. As long as nothing touches the bubble, the robots move around without any issues. But that’s where the problems begin.
“When you have too many robots together, they get so focused on not colliding with each other that they eventually just stop moving,” said Georgia Tech roboticist Magnus Egerstedt, director of Georgia Tech’s Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines. “Their safety behaviors take over and the robots freeze. It’s impossible for them to go anywhere because any movement would cause their bubbles to pop.”
Egerstedt has created a solution. His team’s new algorithms allow any number of robots to move within inches of each other, without colliding, to complete their task — swapping locations on his lab floor. They are the first researchers to create such minimally invasive safety algorithms.
In technical speak, the bots are using a set of safe states and barrier certificates to ensure each stays in its own safe set throughout the entire maneuver.
“In everyday speak, we’ve shrunk the size of each robot’s bubble to make it as small as possible,” said Egerstedt. “Our system allows the robots to make the minimum amount of changes to their original behaviors in order to accomplish the task and not smack into each other.”
In a demo with four robots, the lab’s machines approach from four different areas, meet in the middle, circle counterclockwise within inches of each other, then fan out into opposite directions. In another demonstration, eight robots perform the same task, this time circling clockwise before dispersing. Instead of keeping their distance and taking the long way around their neighbors, the robots move very independently wherever they wish.
Avoiding collisions isn’t anything new in robotics. And Google’s self-driving cars are almost crash-free.
“But we haven’t seen thousands of autonomous cars on the road together yet,” Egerstedt said.
“Robots are very conservative — they want to make sure they’re safe. You couldn’t pack the interstate with self-driving cars with today’s technology.”
Egerstedt also said something similar to these algorithms could be used for the next generation of air traffic control. Instead of people directing the flow, planes will be given the authority in airspaces.
“They’ll have to be safer if we plan to pack the airspace more densely.”
The Latest on: Robots working together
via Google News
The Latest on: Robots working together
- The Rise of the Robots: How Trump and the Republicans betrayed their base voters on December 15, 2018 at 7:56 am
Today the people who live and work there are largely employed in low-paying ... leaps in worker-replacement technology and Artificial Intelligence. Robots and workers in China put together most of the ... […]
- The Next Great Leap Forward? Combining Robots With the Internet of Things on December 14, 2018 at 6:00 am
The likes of the ORCA Hub, a £36m project led by the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, bringing together leading experts and over 30 industry partners, is developing such systems. The aim is to reduce th... […]
- We Need Academic Conferences About Robots, Love, and Sex on December 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm
We know that innovations in manufacturing technology are changing the way we work ... humanoid robots, and consider addressing the human need for intimacy beyond pure eroticism. Put together ... […]
- Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains on December 13, 2018 at 4:45 am
Currently, the company uses Nvidia’s GTX card to do stitch the video clips from the different lenses together and reduce image distortion ... and Nvidia’s Jetson technology to power this robot. Nvidia ... […]
- Wandelbots raises $6.8M to make programming a robot as easy as putting on a jacket on December 12, 2018 at 10:42 pm
“No company we work with has ever replaced a human worker with a robot,” he said ... Both factors together will create a perfect storm, driving the next wave of industrial revolution.&rdquo […]
- Ashland robotics whizzes qualify for FIRST Lego League state final on December 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm
The FIRST Lego League sends out programmable modules to serve as the robot's brain. Develop a detailed solution ... Although there were certainly mishaps early in the process, Anish said that by worki... […]
- Robots and Millennials: Joining Forces To Change The Future of Work on December 12, 2018 at 8:22 am
Ironman isn’t Ironman without the suit, but the suit has no power without the man. That is the future of robotic development, people and robots, working together hand-in-hand to accomplish more than w... […]
- Milrem Robotics UGVs Successfully Tested by British Troops on December 12, 2018 at 3:00 am
We have enjoyed working closely with Milrem Robotics and are looking forward to future collaboration, working together with the world leading THeMIS platform.” QinetiQ also utilized one of the 2 TITAN ... […]
- Robotics in Industry 4.0 – Five Major Challenges for the Packaging Industry on December 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm
Collaboration is not only about safety, it means that people and robots working close together with flexibility and productivity. In addition, a different class of cobots are taking shape. Dubbed chat... […]
via Bing News