The Year of CoCoRo Video #38/52: BEECLUST

22 September 2015

share this:

cocoro38b The EU-funded Collective Cognitive Robotics (CoCoRo) project has built a swarm of 41 autonomous underwater vehicles (AVs) that show collective cognition. Throughout 2015 – The Year of CooRo – we’ll be uploading a new weekly video detailing the latest stage in its development. This week we show an early laboratory experiment using the BEECLUST algorithm on a swarm of Lily robots.

The BEECLUST is a simple swarm algorithm derived from the walking and resting behavior of young honeybees, who can compare several temperature spots in their environment and collectively choose the optimal (warmest) spot. In our video, the algorithm was translated to underwater robots.

The robots move randomly in their habitat. When they meet another robot, they measure how deep the water below is. The more shallow the water, the longer they stay in place.

By running this algorithm, the swarm is able to identify shallow places and collectively choose the shallowest. The same algorithm can be used to find the deepest point, the darkest or the brightest, simply by correlating the resting time of the robots with other local environmental properties.

The BEECLUST is one of the simplest swarm algorithms possible, possibly even THE simplest. However, an algorithm like this does not suit every application: in our experiments we found that, in contrast to crawling honeybees in the hive or driving wheeled robots on the ground, it is very tricky for an AUV to stay in place in water because of drift and turbulence. Even in an aquarium this is an issue, with a number of robots moving around, so we concluded that, for a more turbulent underwater habitat, we needed a better algorithm than the classical BEECLUST.

tags: , , , , ,

Thomas Schmickl is an Associate Professor at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria, and a lecturer at the University for Applied Sciences in St. Pölten, Austria.
Thomas Schmickl is an Associate Professor at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria, and a lecturer at the University for Applied Sciences in St. Pölten, Austria.

Related posts :

New imaging method makes tiny robots visible in the body

Microrobots have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Researchers at the Max Planck ETH Centre for Learning Systems have now developed an imaging technique that for the first time recognises cell-​sized microrobots individually and at high resolution in a living organism.
20 May 2022, by

A draft open standard for an Ethical Black Box

Within the RoboTIPS project, we have developed and tested several model of Ethical Black Boxes, including one for an e-puck robot, and another for the MIRO robot.
19 May 2022, by

Unable to attend #ICRA2022 for accessibility issues? Or just curious to see robots?

There are many things that can make it difficult to attend an in person conference in the United States and so the ICRA Organizing Committee, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and OhmniLabs would like to help you attend ICRA virtually.
17 May 2022, by



Duckietown Competition Spotlight, with Dr Liam Paull

Dr. Liam Paull, cofounder of the Duckietown competition talks about the only robotics competition where Rubber Duckies are the passengers on an autonomous driving track.
17 May 2022, by

Designing societally beneficial Reinforcement Learning (RL) systems

In this post, we aim to illustrate the different modalities harms can take when augmented with the temporal axis of RL. To combat these novel societal risks, we also propose a new kind of documentation for dynamic Machine Learning systems which aims to assess and monitor these risks both before and after deployment.
15 May 2022, by

Innovative ‘smart socks’ could help millions living with dementia

‘Smart socks’ that track rising distress in the wearer could improve the wellbeing of millions of people with dementia, non-verbal autism and other conditions that affect communication.
13 May 2022, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association