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

Slideshow: Robot Ants, Termites & Honeybees Get Autonomous

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Ann R. Thryft   3/27/2014 1:21:24 PM
NO RATINGS
It's funny, I also thought insect queens might direct their worker bees until I learned more about swarming behavior in robotics. But, as we explained, swarming behavior does not operate with a master/slave paradigm. Which is one of the thins that makes it so interesting--how do they communicate and make decisions? I think it's cool that roboticists are contributing to our knowledge of  biology.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Ann R. Thryft   3/25/2014 11:22:55 AM
NO RATINGS
I'm with you on that one, Liz. Big Dog is pretty creepy. Actually, it looks a lot more like a bug in those videos.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Elizabeth M   3/25/2014 5:32:32 AM
NO RATINGS
Indeed they are, Ann, and while that evolution is fascinating it's also a bit scary. I don't mind robots the size of insects becoming autonomous but it gets a little more interesting (and safety becomes a bigger concern) when the robots are larger, like the Big Dog series from Boston Dynamics, for example.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Looks vs function
far911   3/21/2014 2:25:15 PM
NO RATINGS
So the surveyor will act like queen bee for these robots. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Ann R. Thryft   3/21/2014 11:44:17 AM
NO RATINGS
That's certainly true about communications. To me, how swarming bots communicate is one of the most interesting aspects of their design.

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Looks vs function
Battar   3/20/2014 11:29:06 AM
NO RATINGS
Insects can afford redundancy as, in evolutionary terms, it's cheaper than developing intelligence. Swarming bots will need some kind of network communication, either hub-and-spoke type central synchronization, or ring type in which information is handed off from bot to bot. Adapting on the fly means that the other bots in the swarm adapt to a complementary, not identical task, so each robot has to have some idea of what the others are doing. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2014 11:07:26 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Liz. Autonomous robots are "evolving" in leaps and bounds.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2014 11:04:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Battar, real swarming insects do have a queen, but she does not command their actions and their swarming behavior does not operate the way you described (master/slave). It's been studied for several years now by roboticists, and is more complex and interesting than that model. Early swarming robots were centrally controlled due to technology and design limitations. Autonomous swarming bots are more flexible. Swarming bots do not necessarily carry out the same task--they are usually programmed to carry out different tasks that are part of a larger one, and the more sophisticated ones can adapt on the fly (so to speak). For more info check out the numerous DN stories we've done on swarming bots and the SWARMS project site
http://www.swarms.org/



Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Looks vs function
Battar   3/20/2014 9:38:51 AM
NO RATINGS
Real ants and bees have a queen ant/queen bee, in other words one controlling master and multiple slaves. Any other arrangement would result in wasteful redundancy, as multiple robots simultaneously attempt to carry out the same task. 

I suspect that these wifi enabled robots receive synchronization commands from a central computer.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Looks vs function
Elizabeth M   3/20/2014 8:53:55 AM
NO RATINGS
This is interesting, Ann! I'd seen something about this on Google and I was really impressed. I agree with you--that these "termites" are quite interesting in their behavior, and the fact that they can act this way autonomously is especially compelling. This type of intelligence could have a lot of real-world applications.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
In this second materials slideshow from NPE2015, we've got some plastics that vendors were showcasing, including products made with them, and others that were brand-new introductions at the show.
Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
Engineers trying to keep track of the ever-ballooning number of materials and machines for additive manufacturing and 3D printing now have some relief: a free searchable database with more than 350 machines and 450 different materials.
At JEC Europe Dow Automotive introduced a new ultra-fast, under-60-second molding cycle time for its commercial-grade VORAFORCE 5300 epoxy resin matrix for carbon composites. It's aimed at high-volume automotive manufacturing.
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Mar 30 - Apr3, Getting Hands-On with Cypress’ PSoC
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


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.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service