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The Year of CoCoRo Video #44/52: Lily shoaling

November 3, 2015


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 CoCoRo – we’ll be uploading a new weekly video detailing the latest stage in its development. This week’s video shows Lily robots individually demonstrating behavior to enable coherent global swarming.

For a swarm it is crucial that the robots stay together. One method of achieving this is to generate a “virtual fence” around the swarm, as we have already demonstrated with various “confinement” videos in the Year of CoCoRo (weeks 17-19). Besides those methods, it helps if the robots can stay together – like a school of fish, a flock of birds or a swarm of mosquitos. We wanted to mimic these simple individual actions to produce  a coherent, global swarming behavior.

Our Lily robots observe blinking, blue-light signals form neighboring robots. Based on the estimated distance between the robots, they decide – with threshold-based mechanisms – which direction to turn, and how to adjust their motion speed. Although this system is very simple it nicely allows the robots to stay together for longer periods of time.

Thomas Schmickl
guest author
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.

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