Swarmanoid Project Follows Swarm-bots Project

Posted on November 24, 2006

SwarmbotA new project called the Swarmanoid project is building on the earlier Swarm-bots project. The scientific objective of the Swarmanoid project is the design, implementation and control of a novel distributed robotic system. The system will be made up of heterogeneous, dynamically connected, small autonomous robots. These robots will form a swarmanoid that be comprised of numerous (about 60) autonomous robots of three types: eye-bots, handbots, and foot-bots. Wired News explains what the three types of bots will do.
The three types of bots will join forces to create a swarmanoid and perform various jobs. The footbots will transport objects on the ground level, while handbots with specialized climbing and grappling features take to the walls. Some eyebots equipped with visual sensors will operate attached to the ceiling, overseeing the action below and feeding information to their robotic colleagues; others will fly.

"The long-term vision is to build robots that, like humanoid robots, are supposed to live in human-made environments," Dorigo said. "But instead of the anthropomorphic vision of humans in robots, we want to take the swarm approach."

The swarmanoid's footbot design will be based on the swarm-bot architecture. But the scientists decided the bots would be more practical if different models were customized for particular jobs.

"Why try to solve problems using a single type when you can have robots that are specialized for specific tasks?" he said. To demonstrate the swarmanoid's abilities, the team wants to create a swarmanoid that can tidy a bedroom, as well as remove an object from a shelf and bring it to a humanoid.

We wish the swarmanoids luck and hope that they will soon be able to swarm into our kitchen and clean it.

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