Robotics/Exotic Robots/Cooperating Robots
Ever take a good look at a swarm of flying insects? If you did you'd have seen very complicated patterns as if they coordinate their flight with precision. Yet each of these individual insect follow only 2 simple rules:
- Get to the center of the swarm (the safest place)
- Keep your distance from the other insects.
Because of the large number of creatures in such a swarm you get complicated behaviour even from such very simple rules. The same principle applies to ants. Although none of the ants are civil engineers they do succeed in building very complicated habitats.
This same principle can be applied to robots. A large number of small (and cheap) robots can cooperate to tackle a large problem. These swarms of robots are another challenge for robot designers as their behaviour isn't as simple to program as a single robot.
We talk more about "simple" swarming in Robotics/Computer Control/Control Architectures/Swarm Robotics and more complicated coordination in Robotics/Exotic Robots/Modular and fractal robots.