Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Robots Termites, Who Work By Coordinating

Robot Termites -1

Robot Termite -2

Robot Termite -3
Inspired by the example of termites, researchers have programmed robots to construct buildings without any central instructions. These robots are of complex shapes without central instructions. According to Eliza Grinnell of Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; these robots are of complex shapes work without central instructions.

Justin Werfel the first author of the studies says that all their research was inspired by termites, Werfel is one of a researcher at the Wyss Institute for engineering inspired by biology at Cambridge. He added that they discovered the amazing constructions that those small insects could do from that they have created programs and robots that could act very similar way that of the termites. The termites are working on local information rather than a central organization.

Termites can build structures of several meters without requiring a coordinated strategy. Instead, they use simple instructions provided by their peers and the environment to know where to put the next piece of the mound and finally build a mound adapted to their environment. This use of local information is called stigmergy. Justin Werfel and his colleagues have used it to design algorithms that reflect the behavior of termites, which they then applied to a group of robots building.

Each robot follows only a few simple rules: instructions are the same for any structure built by robots and traffic laws that apply to the specific structure. Equipped with sensors, robots are moving along a grid, lifting and depositing bricks. If they perceive a brick on their way, they carry it to the next free space. “The traffic can only go in one direction between two adjacent sites, which maintain a flow of robots and material movement in the structure," says Justin Werfel. If they did things without order, they would find themselves easily trapped in their building.

Researchers have therefore implemented security controls that allow robots to consider where there are already bricks and where there should be. To determine the rules, researchers start of the final structure. Its analysis to determine the number of rules that robots must follow. Once they are set, robots with the independent control have several advantages. “A robot may break but the rest continue “said the authors.” No critical element exists which can compromise the whole of its failure.".

According to the researchers, it is possible to consider using this type of robots to build structures for human use in a dangerous or difficult situation such as making shelter after an earthquake, underwater or even in another planet. An application in the shorter term could form sandbag dikes for controlling flood concluded by Justin Werfel.

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