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Cooperation

— Robotics

MIT teaches robots to be better at building together

By - May 29, 2015 3 Pictures

From leaping over obstacles to pulling objects thousands of times their own weight, robots are great at many things. What they're not so good at is working as an autonomous team in an unfamiliar setting – until now, that is. A team of researchers from MIT has developed an algorithm that streamlines the way robots collaborate on construction tasks, significantly cutting down planning time.

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— Robotics

One hundred Harvard Kilobots swarm together

By - January 21, 2013 7 Pictures
Robots by the dozen are prohibitively expensive, so actually testing how large swarms would work together is often limited to computer simulations. That's where Harvard's Kilobots are beginning to bear fruit – at a cost of US$14 each in batches of a thousand, they're a tenth the cost of their cheapest competitor. At such bargain-basement prices, Michael Rubenstein, Christian Ahler, and Radhika Nagpal at the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group have begun to build their own little robot army. Read More
— Robotics

Tiny Kilobots to go on sale

By - November 23, 2011 7 Pictures
Do you think that you’ll never be able to afford a robot of your own that isn’t a toy? Well, if you can get Swiss robot-maker K-Team Corporation to sell you one, chances are you can easily afford a Kilobot – perhaps even a whole bunch of them. Designed and first built by Harvard University’s Self-Organizing Systems Research Group, the three-legged robots aren’t much larger than the 3.4-volt button cell batteries that power them, and move by vibrating across smooth, flat surfaces. They were created to study robotic swarming behavior, with the intention that tens, hundreds or even thousands of them could be used simultaneously in one experiment. Harvard has just announced that it has licensed the Kilobot technology to K-Team, which will commercially manufacture the robots so that other groups and institutions can purchase them for their own research. Read More
— Robotics

Swarmanoid robots work together ... to steal books

By - August 15, 2011 5 Pictures
Swarms of small, intercommunicating robots are now being eyed up for all sorts of potential uses, including the creation of communications networks for disaster relief, mapping out hazardous environments, or even perhaps helping with the colonization of Mars. Since 2007, a group of European research groups have been collaborating on the now-completed Swarmanoid project, in which a variety of purpose-specific mini robots where programmed to cooperate in order to accomplish a task. Although the bots have been perfecting their book-stealing routine since 2009, a video depicting the task won the Best Video award at last week's 2011 Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco, and was many peoples' introduction to Swarmanoid. Read More
— Robotics

Tiny $14 Kilobots work by swarming together

By - June 20, 2011 6 Pictures
Autonomous robotic devices are certainly capable of some impressive feats, but as is the case with people, sometimes large groups can accomplish what an individual or a small group can’t. Research projects such as BAE Systems’ MAST program recognize this potential, and are investigating ways in which entire swarms of small robots could work together. The problem is, given how much time and money goes into the creation of a typical autonomous robot, it’s difficult to find a swarm of them to experiment upon – researchers often have to use computer simulations, or do their tests with a small group of robots, then scale up the results. That’s where Harvard University’s Kilobot project comes into play. It incorporates tiny swarming robots that take just five minutes to build, and that are worth about US$14 each. Read More
— Automotive

Help design a car for the future

By - July 27, 2009 16 Pictures
C,mm,n (pronounced common) is an open community design project that is not only counting on its members to help design a car but is also tasking them with producing a whole new mobility solution to cope with the challenging demands of the future. The blueprints for the proposed electric car concept and the mobility concepts are freely available under an open source licence and contributions are welcome from anyone and everyone. Read More
— Science

Give people more freedom to create less selfish societies says research

By - February 8, 2009 1 Picture
Cooperation, despite being now considered the third force of evolution, just behind mutation and natural selection, is difficult to explain in the context of an evolutionary process based on competition between individuals and selfish behavior. But this puzzle, that has haunted scientists for decades, is now a little closer to be solved by research about to be published on the journal Physical Review Letters. Read More
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