Soon, robots that form `swarms` without using any memory
London: Scientists have developed a way of making thousands of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power.
Engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK, programmed extremely simple robots that are able to form a dense cluster without the need for complex computation, in a similar way to how a swarm of bees or a flock of birds is able to carry out tasks collectively.
The work paves the way for robot `swarms` to be used in, for example, the agricultural industry where precision farming methods could benefit from the use of large numbers of very simple and cheap robots, researchers said.
A group of 40 robots has been programmed to perform the clustering task and computer simulations show that this could be expanded to include thousands of robots.
Each robot uses one sensor that tells them whether or not they can `see` another robot in front of them. Based on whether or not they can see another robot, they will either rotate on the spot, or move around in a circle until they can see one.
In this way they are able to gradually form and maintain a cluster formation. The system`s ingenuity lies in its simplicity. The robots have no memory, do not need to perform any calculations and require only very little information about the environment.
With the programming developed by the Sheffield team, however, it could be possible to develop extremely small - even nanoscale – machines.
The Sheffield system also shows that even if the information perceived by the robots gets partially corrupted, the majority of them will still be able to work together to complete the task.
"What we have shown is that robots do not need to compute to solve problems like that of gathering into a single cluster, and the same could be true for swarming behaviours that we find in nature, such as in bacteria, fish, or mammals," said Roderich Gross, from the Sheffield Centre for Robotics (SCentRo), in the University`s Faculty of Engineering.
"This means we are able to `scale up` these swarms, to use thousands of robots that could then be programmed to perform tasks.
"In a real world scenario, this could involve monitoring the levels of pollution in the environment; we could also see them being used to perform tasks in areas where it would be hazardous for humans to go.
"Because they are so simple, we could also imagine these robots being used at the micron-scale, for example in healthcare technologies, where they could travel through the human vascular network to offer diagnosis or treatment in a non-invasive way," Gross said.
The research was published in the International Journal of Robotics Research.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- China doesn't recognise 'illegal' McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval
- CBSE 10th Results 2015 to be declared on May 27
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Is there life after death?
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results declared