Robots that divide tasks among themselves

By: | Published: August 7, 2015 7:26 PM

Inspired by the way ants organise and divide their work, scientists have developed a novel method that allows robots to efficiently self-organise their tasks.

Inspired by the way ants organise and divide their work, scientists have developed a novel method that allows robots to efficiently self-organise their tasks. (Reuters)Inspired by the way ants organise and divide their work, scientists have developed a novel method that allows robots to efficiently self-organise their tasks. (Reuters)

Inspired by the way ants organise and divide their work, scientists have developed a novel method that allows robots to efficiently self-organise their tasks.

Eliseo Ferrante from the University of Leuven in Belgium and colleagues evolved complex robot behaviours using artificial evolution and detailed robotics simulations.

Just like social insects such as ants, bees or termites teams of robots display a self-organised division of labour in which the different robots automatically specialised into carrying out different subtasks in the group, said researchers.

The field of ‘swarm robotics’ aims to use teams of small robots to explore complex environments, such as the Moon or foreign planets.

However, designing controllers that allow the robots to effectively organise themselves is no easy task.

The novel method developed by the team of scientists from the University of Leuven, the Free University of Brussels and the Middle East Technical University is based on grammatical evolution and allows the evolution of behaviours that go beyond the complexity achieved before this study.

The research was published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

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