Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mobile phone technology brings robot swarm to research labs

A new low cost platform for swarm robotics research which makes it possible to produce robots for as little as £24 each will be presented tomorrow at the first European conference on Artificial Life which will be held in Winchester from 5-8 August.

The robots will be at a press preview of a special robot demonstration tomorrow Wednesday 6 August at 4.30pm.

At a presentation entitled Strategies for maintaining large robot communities on today, Alexis Johnson from the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) described how he and his fellow students developed a platform of 25 robots capable of more than two hours of autonomy and with sufficient code capacity and processing power to run complex algorithms. The other students were Stephen English, Jeffrey Gough, Robert Spanton and Joanna Sun.

The team employed motors normally used to vibrate mobile phones. These motors are designed to be attached to circuit boards in the standard manufacturing process---removing the need for manual assembly of the robots and bringing the cost of a swarm of robots within reach of a typical research project.

'This is truly exciting: now we can order robots from the same UK companies that regularly make circuit boards for our projects---for them it is just a circuit board they can mass-produce like any other, but actually it is a complete functional robot.' said Dr Klaus-Peter Zauner who teaches Biorobotics at ECS.

'This also poses important research questions: how can we maintain and control thousands of robots,’ he added. ‘The students have made first steps to answer this using software tricks inspired by the way bacteria exchange code for drug resistance.'

Swarm robotics platforms are used for the investigation of emergent behaviour. They permit the study of swarm behaviour by physical simulation: providing real world constraints and experimental scope unattainable in software simulation alone.

Long-term possible applications for swarm robotics are in earthquake scenarios, environmental monitoring, and the field of space science.

Helene Murphy | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>