The Year of the CoCoRo Video #22/52: Aggregation magnets
The EU-funded Collective Cognitive Robotics (CoCoRo) project has built a swarm of 41 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that show collective cognition. Throughout 2015 – The Year of CoCoRo – we will be uploading a new weekly video detailing the latest stage in its development. This video shows how a swarm of Lily robots finds a magnetic target on the ground.
This is made difficult by water currents that cause single robots to drift away after they have located the target. By recruiting other robots to the spot using blue blinking lights, a larger group can form at the site. This stabilizes the swarm and prevents any unneeded robots from drifting away. Collectively, the robots manage to solve the task using a basic behavioral program. This shows that even very simple agents are able to perform complex tasks collectively, with no recourse to global knowledge.