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
- Want to Win the Next War Against Russia, China or North Korea. Let AI Run the Show.on June 24, 2020 at 11:43 am
What if artillery rounds, mini-drone swarms of explosives, rockets and even air-fired missiles are all approaching forward-positioned Army troops at the same time? Imagine that these incoming weapons ...
- AI-Powered Agricultural Robots: A Revolution in Affordable Ultra-Precision, Says IDTechExon June 22, 2020 at 9:51 am
The developments in agricultural robotics, machine vision, and AI will drive a deep and far-reaching transformation of the way farming ...
- ‘Doom Patrol’ Season 2 Review: Tragedy Plus Time Travel in Another Weird, Wonderful Seasonon June 20, 2020 at 9:17 am
Doom Patrol season 2 is still as weird as ever—shoutout to the Terrible Doctor Tyme and his disco parties—but also leans harder into the tragedy of it all.
- Let the robot swarms begin!on June 19, 2020 at 5:34 am
Scientists are looking for ways to make millions of molecule-sized robots swarm together so they can perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Tsukuba, Japan, - ...
- Scientists working to make molecule-sized robots swarm together to perform taskson June 18, 2020 at 2:36 pm
Multi-disciplinary research has led to the innovative fabrication of molecule-sized robots. Scientists are now advancing their efforts to make these robots interact and work together in the millions, ...
- Qualcomm Introduces 5G and AI-Enabled Robotics Platformon June 18, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Qualcomm on Wednesday announced its Robotics RB5 platform, with 5G and 4G connectivity, on-device AI and machine learning, superior computing and intelligent sensing capabilities. The platform's ...
- Molecular robot swarmson June 18, 2020 at 3:55 am
Scientists are looking for ways to make millions of molecule-sized robots swarm together so they can perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
- AGILOX Autonomous Mobile Robots are substantially saving costs by applying Artificial Swarm Intelligenceon June 17, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Swarm Intelligence (SI) and bio-inspired computing have attracted great interest in almost every area of science and engineering, including robotics, over the last two decades.
- 9 Types of Robotics Software You Might Consider for Your Roboton June 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm
RoboDK has been ranked among the top robotics movement software companies! But, there’s a lot of different types of software in the robotics industry. How can you differentiate between all the ...
- Agilox applies artificial swarm intelligence to its warehouse robots and makes ‘substantial’ cost savingson June 17, 2020 at 11:40 am
Agilox says its autonomous mobile robots are “substantially saving costs” by applying artificial swarm intelligence. Swarm Intelligence and bio-inspired computing have attracted great interest in ...
via Bing News