The EU-funded Collective Cognitive Robotics (CoCoRo) project has built a swarm of 41 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that show collective cognition. Throughout 2015 – The Year of CoCoRo – we will be uploading a new weekly video detailing the latest stage in its development. This video shows the CoCoRo autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in a large aquarium at the CeBIT exhibition, and simulates a real mission scenario in which the AUVs have to collectively find an object of potential interest at the sea floor (e.g., a black box of a crashed plane).
In the beginning the AUVs start randomly distributed in the mission area (= aquarium) where the object is assumed to be. The AUVs do not perform a special search pattern but instead use a simple random walk. Due to the high number of AUVs, quite soon one of the AUVs will be near the object (in this case a magnetic target) and can perceive it.
The AUV then tries to keep its position above the object and starts to emit blue-light signals that attract other nearby AUVs which in turn also emit blue-light signals. This leads to a fast aggregation of most of the swarm AUVs near the object. In future underwater swarms these AUVs could then collectively grab and lift the object to the water surface.