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Video: Robot Swarm Channels Beethoven
12/17/2012

As part of a project to create leader-follower network topologies, a swarm of Khepera III robots deploys spatio-temporal routing algorithms to use the fewest members and travel the minimum possible distance while playing Beethoven's 'Fur Elise.' (Source: K-Team)
As part of a project to create leader-follower network topologies, a swarm of Khepera III robots deploys spatio-temporal routing algorithms to use the fewest members and travel the minimum
possible distance while playing Beethoven's "Fur Elise."
(Source: K-Team)

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mrdon
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Robot Swarm Video
mrdon   12/17/2012 12:27:08 PM
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Hi Ann, Great article and video! It's amazing to see this tiny robots worked together for a common goal, in this case to play a piano, with such grace. The electronics packaging for these tiny robot is an engineering feat in itself. I'm wondering what type of processor is used to orchestrate the sensing and mobility controls for these robots. Did Georgia Tech disclose any engineering BOM on these robots?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
Cabe Atwell   12/17/2012 3:49:32 PM
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Add another 50 robots, and the song would be "knock you down" impressive.

Mrdon, I think these are off the shelf bots. Khepera III.

Aside from the BOM, the source code for their collaboration software would be interesting to see.

C

mrdon
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
mrdon   12/17/2012 5:42:28 PM
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Cabe Atwell, Yes the article did specify them as being Khepera IIIs. I agree, the code would be interesting to see based on the swarm algorithm used to allow the bots to work together.

William K.
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
William K.   12/21/2012 8:26:07 PM
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A completely different concept, that is true. As for the working together, what came to my mind is the expression "Gung Ho", adopted by the USMC many years ago. The meaning, loosely translated from the original Chinese, means "work together". And the robots certainly do. It ia a little bit like watching an untrianed typist using whatever finger is closest to the needed key.

Is it possible that these robots could learn to type? That would be quite a show, no doubt.

mrdon
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
mrdon   12/22/2012 12:35:36 AM
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WilliamK, Yes, I agree. That would be a sight to see these robots type a book mansucript. I could have used them for my latest book, Learn Electronics with Arduino.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
Ann R. Thryft   12/27/2012 12:56:40 PM
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Thanks, mrdon, glad you liked it. I was happy to find out that the U of PA robot musical team we've written about wasn't the only group of swarming bots with such talents.
I suggest you check out the link we gave for the Kephera IIIs--they are OTS machines, as Cabe points out. I think his point about the software is also well taken. I'd like to know more about what the Georgia Tech team did with spatio-temporal request sequencing.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
Scott Orlosky   12/30/2012 7:07:44 PM
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This sort of cooperative solution is intriguing to watch.  Could this also be used to deliver multiple parcels throughout a neighborhood with minimal energy consumption? Maybe planting algorithms for reforestation? Battlefield logistics?  I'm sure that there must be lots of real-world problems that could use this sort of optimization for a solution.

The Ticktock Man
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
The Ticktock Man   12/31/2012 10:15:49 PM
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Right, if there were at least 3 or 4 times the number of swarm elements (it only starts with 8, after all) or they were that much faster, the ENTIRE piece (the middle section has about 3 times the number of notes in the same period of time) could be played a tempo, and it would be as flawless as if sequenced.

mrdon
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
mrdon   1/8/2013 11:24:28 AM
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Hi Ann, Is it possible to obtain additional info regarding the software algorithm used to coordinate the Robot Swarm's movements? It would be an interesting follow up article as well.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robot Swarm Video
Ann R. Thryft   1/8/2013 12:13:10 PM
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mrdon, you're welcome to try--you could contact them via the links we gave--but I doubt if the researchers would be very forthcoming with the algorithm. Please let us know what you find out.

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