Swarm-bots could boldly go where no man has gone before

An award-winning IST research team has developed highly unusual mini-robots, or swarm-bots, that work as a team to overcome challenges. While their cooperative behaviour is inspired by the actions of the tiny ant, their abilities could eventually take them to outer space.

A fifth article in the European Robotics series (search Cordis site for "robot special") explores how swarm theory and distributed intelligence can be used in robotics.   The Swarm-bot project led by Prof. Marco Dorigo (Université Libre de Bruxelles) created 35 s-bot that "completed tasks, self-assembled and coordinated their movement."  Controllers were developed using genetic algorithms in a simulation environment and then downloaded to the robots.  The follow-on Swarmanoid Project, also led by Macro Dorigo, will involve about 60 robots with different functionality, including eye-bots, hand-bots and foot-bots.

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