HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
decentralized control schemes
Nancy Golden   8/28/2014 12:24:43 PM
NO RATINGS
This is really cool stuff - I find it really interesting that "large numbers of robots can be controlled more efficiently with decentralized control schemes."  It beats the heck out of the borg collective! I also appreciate how K-Team is making the kilobits and the software for programming them readily available.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: decentralized control schemes
Ann R. Thryft   8/28/2014 12:37:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for your enthusiasm, Nancy. Actually, the Borg collective was supposed to be a, um, collective, which implies a certain amount of autonomy, like these bots have, and which clearly depends at least partly on decentralization. I was really surprised when the scriptwriters introduced the idea of an evil queen running the show. And I agree about the open source approach. I'm seeing that, along with crowdsourcing development, far more often now among robot R&D teams.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: decentralized control schemes
Nancy Golden   8/28/2014 12:49:06 PM
NO RATINGS
That evil queen was just creepy!

I always loved Data's quote:
Data: She brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible, and for a time...I was tempted by her offer.
Jean-Luc Picard: How long a time?
Data: Zero-point-six-eight seconds, sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

Technically they were centralized - they were an interconnected collective with a centralized "hive mind" that made the decisions and communicated those decisions linked by subspace radio. I guess how they carried out those commands could be likened to the microcontroller program that each individual kilobot has running...Master algorithm in hive mind and with each bot responding individually.

Live long and prosper :)

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: decentralized control schemes
Ann R. Thryft   8/28/2014 12:57:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Nancy, thanks for that. You obviously know a lot more about the Borg than I do. But that means they shouldn't have been called a collective if they had a queen/centralized mind. That's a hive and it's a very different politico-social structure, at least as humans do things.

These bots really are autonomous in the sense that the algorithm only gives them the basic rules, not specific instructions on what to do step by step in each and every situation they encounter. For a robot, that's autonomy, at least compared to what's been true before in robotics.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: decentralized control schemes
Nancy Golden   8/28/2014 1:21:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Sci-fi trivia aside - your comment, "These bots really are autonomous in the sense that the algorithm only gives them the basic rules, not specific instructions on what to do step by step in each and every situation they encounter" makes this a very exciting development with untapped applications that were ironically considered science fiction in the past - very exciting stuff!

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service