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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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