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.