2011-08-16

Swarmanoid: Heterogeneous Dynamically Connected Autonomous Robots

Robot 'Mission Impossible' wins video prize - tech - 12 August 2011 - New Scientist
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20791-robot-mission-impossible-wins-video-prize.html
  • In a striking display of military-like precision, the robotic team, dubbed the "Swarmanoid", attacks the problem with flying "eye-bots" and rolling "foot-bots". A "hand-bot" then fires a grappling hook-like device up to the ceiling and scales the bookshelf. Footage of the experiment, conducted by Marco Dorigo at Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and colleagues, won the video competition at the Conference on Artificial Intelligence in San Francisco earlier this week

Swarmanoid project
http://www.swarmanoid.org/project_description.php
  • Swarm robotics is inspired by the social insect metaphor, and emphasises aspects such as decentralisation of control, limited communication abilities among robots, use of local information, emergence of global behaviour, and robustness. Most current studies in swarm robotic systems have focused on robotic swarms in which individuals are physically and behaviourally undifferentiated.

      The Swarmanoid project proposes a highly innovative way to build robots that can successfully and adaptively act in human made environments. The Swarmanoid project will be the first to study how to design, realise and control a heterogeneous swarm robotic system capable of operating in a fully 3-dimensional environment.

      The main scientific objective of the proposed research is the design, implementation and control of a novel distributed robotic system comprising heterogeneous, dynamically connected small autonomous robots so as to form what we call a swarmanoid. The swarmanoid that we intend to build will be comprised of numerous (about 60) autonomous robots of three types: eye-bots, hand-bots, and foot-bots.
Swarmanoid project
http://www.swarmanoid.org/swarmanoid_hardware.php
  • Eye-bots



    The eye-bot has 8 rotors, arranged in a coaxial quadrotor configuration,   that provide the main lifting force and control. The co-axial arrangement allows for a   smaller size and increased payload capability.
  • Hand-bots



    The hand-bot is a fully new concept of robot specilized in both climbing  vertical surfaces and manipulating objects. The hand-bot is not able to move  on the ground (rely for this on the foot-bots and on self-assembling features)  and has a very weak perception of distant environment (rely for this on the  eye-bots)
  • Foot-bots



    The foot-bot is a particular configuration of modules based  on the marXbot robotic platform. The foot-bot configuration includes a top  CPU and vision module, a distance scnaner, a range and bearing module, a  self-assembling module and a basic (mobility & battery) module.