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 an autonomous swarm of underwater robots coordinating their motion to form coherent shoals.
The body shape of Jeff robots is much closer to that of a fish than the Lily robots are. With their slim bodies, Jeff robots can tightly flock together and move in one direction as a group. We implemented a simple blue-light-LED-based algorithm that allows neighboring robots to align to each other. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it still works quite often. And when we filmed the little fish that observed our experiments with robots in Livorno harbor (see at beginning of the movie), we observed that the natural fish also did not align 100% of the time. In other words, we came pretty close.
We implemented this code in a very short period of time (hours!) towards the end of the project. With more time and more local neighbor communication, the shoaling can be much improved in future. We hope to be able to further extend this in our follow up project, subCULTron.