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 Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Rules of brain architecture revealed in large study of neuron shape & electrophysiology

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Research highlights possible targets to help tackle Crohn's disease

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>