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Engineering Materials

Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: there’s a Pony in there
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:18:16 PM
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JimT and Pubudu, the potential applications of swarming, self-assembling/self-reconfiguring bots are numerous. Most often mentioned are military operations, not surprising when you consider the source of much of the funding.The other blogs I've written give more ideas: you can reach them via links at the end of this blog.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: SWARMING ROBOTS
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:14:07 PM
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bobjengr, we've written several times about self-assembling robots. The R&D is happening at universities, usually with military funding. Check out the links at the end of this blog. The inspiration actually comes primarily from swarming insects. Unlike the Borg, these bots are not programmed for a specific individual task, but for general tasks that they collectively decide how to handle on the fly (so to speak).

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: decentralized control schemes
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:10:36 PM
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Capt. Ron, I watched some Stargate but don't remember the Replicators. They sound uncomfortably a bit like swarming nanobots. Or maybe like some of the other self-assembling tiny robots we've written about. Check out the links at the end of this blog. Did you see the ones I wrote on self-assembling DNA bots?
To your point on applications, space exploration is definitely one that's often mentioned for many of these.



JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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there’s a Pony in there
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/31/2014 11:59:45 PM
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Ann this is just so amazing, but I too, am struggling to grasp a practical App.  (But as the VC investors say, " I think there's a Pony in there, somewhere,,,) Something amazing will come from this, I'm pretty sure.

Pubudu
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Re: decentralized control schemes
Pubudu   8/31/2014 1:28:00 PM
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Ann this is very interesting to see self assemble robots. But what is the practical application of those. 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: SWARMING ROBOTS
Cabe Atwell   8/30/2014 1:38:29 PM
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Interesting to see a physical representation of data moving around. Vibrating is an odd choice for locomotion. I suppose it's simple. 

 

bobjengr
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SWARMING ROBOTS
bobjengr   8/30/2014 1:09:58 PM
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This is absolutely fascinating Ann.  I had no idea universities and private research firms were working on this technology.  I suspect the idea came from schools of fish swimming in unison.  It makes since they would since on "bot" disabled would not interfere with accomplishment of the mission regardless as to what that mission was.  A bit scary though.  I do remember the BORG and the collective they worked within and how each individual was programmed for a very specific task.  Again, very interesting and thank you for the post. 

Capt. Ron
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Re: decentralized control schemes
Capt. Ron   8/29/2014 9:29:25 AM
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Actually, I'm thinking more like the Replicators from Stargate SG1. They were tiny robots that all knew what their mission was. Autonomous in their actions but with a commmon goal. As I recall that didn't work out that well for the humans they came in contact with. However, I'm sure here in the real world we can find a more benficial use for self assembling robots. Especially in the area of Space exporation or undersea endeavors.

Nancy Golden
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Re: decentralized control schemes
Nancy Golden   8/28/2014 1:21:44 PM
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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!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: decentralized control schemes
Ann R. Thryft   8/28/2014 12:57:54 PM
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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.

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