The Cubli The Cubli is a 15 × 15 × 15 cm cube that can jump up and balance on its corner. Reaction wheels mounted...
Category: Swarm Robots
Hundreds of micro-robots will work together to carry out repairs inside machinery, explore deep-sea environments, and even colonize Mars, according to predictions from the EU-funded I-SWARM project. Marc Szymanski, from the University of Karlsruhe, is part of a team that is developing centimeter-scale autonomous robots that co-operate like a colony of ants. The project has already produced 100 micro-robots, and is close to a mass-producible model.
The benefit of a robotic swarm is that the group can compensate for the failure of individual members. If I-SWARM succeeds in making the design mass-producible, a programmable robotic swarm could be cheaply applied in a wide variety of fields.
“Robot swarms are particularly useful in situations where you need high redundancy. If one robot malfunctions or is damaged it does not cause the mission to fail because another robot simply steps in to fill its place,” Szymanski explains.
The key to the effectiveness of micro-robots is their ability to communicate and collaborate. Ants accomplish this by emitting chemicals, but Szymanski’s team has chosen a different approach. When triggered to communicate, the I-SWARM robots broadcast infrared light – the robots that receive this signal then broadcast it to their neighbors, and so on, until the message is completely dispersed. In this way, a robot can call for assistance when trying to accomplish a task too challenging for individual members of the group.
Swarms of flying robots might sound a bit ominous to those of us anxiously awaiting the inevitable robot uprising that will see humanity drop a notch on the scale of planetary dominance. But swarms of flying robots are just what a project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland is working to create. However, instead of keeping an eye on prisoners in a robot-run internment camp, the Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network (SMAVNET) Project aims to develop robot swarms that can be deployed in disaster areas to rapidly create communication networks for rescuers.
The individual micro air vehicles (MAVs) are built out of Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) resulting in a weight of just 420g (14.8 ounces). With a wingspan of 80cm (31.5-inches) the MAVs have an electric motor mounted at the back and two control surfaces serving as elevons (combined ailerons and elevator). The robots run on a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery that provides 30 minutes of flying time.
Robots by the dozen are prohibitively expensive, so actually testing how large swarms would work together is often limited to computer simulations. That’s where Harvard’s Kilobots are beginning to bear fruit – at a cost of US$14 each in batches of a thousand, they’re a tenth the cost of their cheapest competitor. At such bargain-basement prices, Michael Rubenstein, Christian Ahler, and Radhika Nagpal at the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group have begun to build their own little robot army.
Summary “Flying robots self-assemble into midair swarm” “Individual vehicles self-assemble, coordinate, and take flight” The Distributed Flight Array is a Swiss-built group of single-propeller robots...
This video is about a real cooperative solution for Swarm Robotics;
Aldebaran Robotics Nao Robot Show in France Pavilion Shanghai Expo 2010 Video: http://youtu.be/uIuRc1r_N34
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are developing a swarm of intelligent robots that can work together to perform tasks, like containing an oil spill or building a space station.
Arbitrary target patterns are represented with an optimal robot deployment, using a method that is independent of the number of robots. Furthermore, the trajectories are visually appealing in the sense of being smooth, oscillation free, and showing fast convergence. A distributed controller guarantees collision free trajectories while taking into account the kinematics of differentially driven robots. Experimental results are provided for a representative set of patterns, for a swarm of up to ten differentially-driven robots, and for fifty virtual robots in simulation.