A workshop about communication in swarms took place in Klagenfurt in mid-July. Invited speakers and other experts discussed questions at the interface of robotics, distributed systems, and communication technology.
This statement was the title of a TIME article, which was included in the magazine’s special report on “The Drone Age”. We asked Christian Bettstetter to tell us what today’s drones can do and what drone (swarms) are not yet capable of. One thing is certain: Our airspace is going to be much busier in the future.
A unified mathematical model for synchronisation and swarming has been proposed recently. Each system entity, called “swarmalator”, coordinates its internal phase and location with the other entities in a way that these two attributes are mutually coupled. This paper realises and studies, for the first time, the concept of swarmalators in technical systems. We adapt and extend the original model for its use on mobile robots and implement it in the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2). Simulations and experiments with small robots demonstrate the feasibility of the model and show its potential to be applied in real-world systems. All types of space-time patterns achieved in theory can be reproduced in practice. Applications can be found in monitoring, exploration, entertainment and art, among other domains.
An interdisciplinary workshop on self-organization and swarm intelligence in cyber physical systems was held at Lakeside Labs this week. Experts presented their work and discussed open issues in this exciting field.
An analysis of robotics conferences of the past four years shows that Austria has relatively low visibility. It also shows that expertise is distributed among a handful of universities.
Mobile robots in explorer missions need to charge their batteries from time to time. Different policies for coordinated recharging in teams of robots are evaluated.
New packages for the Robot Operating System (ROS) are available for autonomous exploration of unknown environments using collaborating mobile robots equipped with cameras. The software offers wireless ad hoc communications between robots, merging of maps from different robots, and coordinated selection of exploration frontiers. A prototype with four robots was built that demonstrates its functionality in an indoor environment.