Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New self-steering vehicle designed to mimic movements of ants

18.09.2008
A team of engineers from the University of La Laguna (ULL) in the Canary Islands has designed the “Verdino”, a self-steering vehicle that can sense the road surface using a technique called Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO). This method is based on the behaviour used by ants to find the shortest way between their ant hill and sources of food.

The study’s lead author, Rafael Arnay, from the ULL’s, Department of Systems and Automatic Engineering and Computer Architecture and Technology told SINC that the ACO algorithms are used to resolve “problems of combinatory optimisation” and were inspired directly by ants.

In Nature, these insects leave a trail of pheromones as they move, which can be detected by smell and followed by other members of the colony. The pheromones evaporate over time, which means that the path used by those ants that move to and from the food source over the shortest distance is the most deeply reinforced by these chemical substances, and so is the one chosen by the other ants.

“The ACO technique is based, similarly, on a colony of artificial ants, in other words computational agents that work cooperatively and communicate with each other by means of artificial pheromone trails,” explains Arnay. This technique has been chosen by Canary Island engineers to allow the “Verdino” to keep to the correct path along the road without the need for any driver.

The prototype looks like vehicles used on golf courses, but it incorporates a camera that gathers the visual data necessary to apply the algorithms, as well as an internal control system that processes the data in real time. The “Verdino” is programmed to travel along unstructured roads, in other words those without lines painted on the surface, or with irregular edges caused by encroachment by soil or vegetation.

The engineers are currently testing the small car to be used as an internal transport system to link 25 housing units and a visitor centre in a bioclimatic housing development being built by the Technological and Renewable Energy Institute in the south of Tenerife, and they describe the first results as “very promising”.

The researchers believe the self-guided system could be commercialised and used in vehicles to be used in places such as historical town centres, tourist complexes, exhibition or sporting venues, shopping centres and industrial estates, and could even be used within remote security systems or in adapted cars for elderly or disabled people.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>