The Year of the CoCoRo Video #23/52: Lily aggregation experiments
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 a swarm of underwater robots working together to search and make decisions collectively .
Based on the algorithm we presented in the previous video on aggregation magnets, we conducted a series of collective choice experiments with our Lily swarm robots in two distinct environments: 1) open field, which asked for choosing a global magnetic optimum over several local ones, and 2) a T-Maze setup, which offered only a binary choice. In all experimental settings the swarm reached a clear decision in favor of the global optimum. This ability of decision making is a property of the collective, not of the individual.