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Swarmanoid a group of robots team up to rescue a book

first_imgFinding your desired library book is almost always a tricky venture. If the book is out of place, good luck. If the library runs on the Dewey Decimal System, you might as well call it quits. If all else fails, you could always have robots get it for you.Researchers at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium have assembled a team of robots that can coordinate to accomplish a task. Dubbed Swarmanoid, the team recently succeeded in retrieving a book from a high shelf. They communicate via infrared and flashing LED lights.Swarmanoid comprises several types of robots. Aerial eye-bots, ground foot-bots, and climbing hand-bots communicate with each other to accomplish the mission. Before given their task, the robots know nothing of the environment they are in.First, the eye-bots scope out the environment for the target. Each room that makes up that environment is outfitted with a magnetic ceiling so that the eye-bots can anchor to it. Once the target is located, the eye-bots send an activation signal to the foot-bots which form a line between the hand-bot and the target. The foot-bots form a communication chain so that the hand-bot can make its way to the book.Two foot-bots then attach to the hand-bot to escort it to the target. Once at the book shelf, the foot-bots detach, and the hand-bot shoots a magnetic-tipped string up to the ceiling. With the line for stability, the hand-bot begins its ascent. After the hand-bot grabs the book, it lowers itself back down to safety.The whole operation is significant in that it demonstrates how simple robots working together can solve quite complex problems. Check out how the operation panned out in the video below.via NewScientistlast_img read more