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The Year of CoCoRo Video #45/52: Swarm control

November 10, 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 demonstrates autonomous shoaling that can also be controlled.

Groups of Lily robots emit blue light, blinking signals that can be seen by other nearby robots. Those robots can then estimate their distance and angle in relation to other robots and autonomously relocate to stay together. And, if just one of the robots is radio-controlled, then the human operator can influence (and thus control) the whole swarm. However, the operator cannot move directly to the target, instead they must observe the swarm and react to it or, as Tobias who made this video, said: “You have to feel the swarm.”

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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