Swiss scientists, inspired by the team spirit of ants, able to carry together large and heavy objects, created miniature robots with a similar principle of operation. They are able to share responsibilities, make decisions on the situation and help each other in performing a variety of tasks.
Engineers of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne developed tiny robots ants, each weighing about 10 grams. They look simple — three sheets and a couple of chips — but use collective intelligence to solve problems of varying complexity. Mini-workers, called Tribots, can move in several modes and overcome small obstacles. They are equipped with infrared cameras and sensors, thanks to which they Orient themselves in space and "feel" other devices. Similar, however, are able and other robots.
The peculiarity of Tribots — in their interaction. Thus, several robots can help a "brother" to overcome an obstacle too high for him or together to move a heavy object from place to place. Working in a group, the devices independently assign themselves one of three behaviors: scout, performer, and leader. The first assesses the situation and records all nearby objects, the second immediately takes on the task, and the third coordinates the actions of the first two, like a foreman.
"Like ants, our robots assign themselves "roles" and strictly follow them. However, as soon as the conditions of the "mission" change or one of the members of the "squad" is lost, Tribots can immediately change the behavior patterns in accordance with the circumstances. Such insects can no longer do," said the leader of the research group Jamie Paik.
The development of Swiss scientists in the future can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, for search and rescue operations, because robots "communicate" via GPS. They are quite simple to produce, so the creation of huge groups will not be a problem. Tribots quickly adapt to any conditions and can work even after the loss of a part of the group, which makes them extremely effective.