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 Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>