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Swarming robot boats demonstrate self-learning

by • February 2, 2016 • No Comments

Robots may be the wave of the following, but it can be a rather chaotic following if they don’t learn to work together. This cooperative approach is understandn as swarm robotics and in a initially in the field, a team of engineers has demonstrated a swarm of intelligent aquatic surface robots which can operate together in a real-world environment. By means of “Darwinian” learning, the robots are created to tevery themselves how to cooperate in carrying out a task.

A leading problem facing the navies of the world is which as ships become additional sophisticated they in addition become much additional expensive. They are packed with highly trained personnel which cannot be put at risk, except in the most extreme circumstances, and actually the most high end ship suffers of not being able-bodied to be in two places at once.

One solution to this dilemma is to augment the ships with swarms of robot boats which can act as auxiliary fleets at much lower cost and without risk of life. The tricky bit is figuring out how to get this swarm to carry out undertakings without turning into a robotic option of the Keystone Cops. The approach being pursued by a team of the Institute of Telecommunications at University Institute of Lisbon and the University of Lisbon in Portugal is to rely on self-learning robots.

Led by Dr. Anders Christensen, the team not long ago demonstrated how up to ten robots can operate together to consume different types of tasks. The tiny robots are created of CNC-machined polystyrene foam and 3D-printed components at a materials cost of of €300 (US$330). The electronics pack include GPS, compass, Wi-Fi, and a Raspberry Pi 2 desktop. But, the key is their decentralized programming.

“Swarm robotics is a paradigm shift: we rely on most tiny, easy, and inexpensive robots, instead of a single or a few sizeable, rigorous, and expensive robots,” says Christensen. “Controlling a sizeable-scale swarm of robots cannot be done centrally. Each robot must decide for itself how to carry out the undertaking, and coordinate with its neighbors.”

Instead of via a central desktop or programming every robot individually, the swarm operates on what the team calls a Darwinian approach. In other words, every robot is equipped with a neural network which mimics the operations of a living brain. The robots are given a easy set of instructions of how to operate in relationship to one another as well as undertaking goals.

The robots are and so allowed to interact with one another in a simulated environment and those which display successful undertaking behavior are allowed to proceed. The “fittest” robots of the simulations are and so tested in the real world.

According to the team, the clever bit of the swarm is which, like schools of complete or flocks of birds, none of the robots understand of or “care” of the other robots beyond their immediate neighbors. Instead, they react to what their immediate neighbors do as they determine the most way to fulfill their undertaking objectives such as area monitoring, navigation to waypoint, aggregation, and dispersion. In a sense, they learn to cooperate with one another.

The team is already working on the following generation of aquatic robots with additional high end sensors and the competence to handle longer undertakings. Eventually, they may be utilized in swarms numbering hundreds or thousands of robots for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and maritime surveillance.

The team’s research is being peer reviewed and is on the market-bodied here.

The video at a lower place describes how the sea swarm works.

Source: Biomachines Lab

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