Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Swarmanoid 'Bots Rule Air, Land, Bookshelves

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-don't-tell-them-where-the-guns-are dept.

Robotics 41

An anonymous reader writes "The notion of distributed processing isn't new, and its application to robotics leads naturally to the idea of a swarm of robots. However, most swarm-oriented robots are composed of many identical robots (such as The Kilobots). In this case, there are three types of robots: a 'hand-bot,' which can climb bookcases and grab objects with hands; a 'foot-bot,' which can drive around and carry the hand-bot; and an 'eye-bot,' which flies around and perches on the ceiling to provide a perspective to the other bots." Another reader points out an unrelated but also-impressive video of Kinect being used to develop a user-friendly robot assistant.

cancel ×

41 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Buh bye (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262752)

Welp, guess its time to start developing that EMP-shotgun...

Wasnt there a /. story a while back about some University that developed an explosive that also released a short range EMP burst? iirc the Air Force wanted to use it to make missiles.

There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (4, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262944)

I doubt any of this will exist anytime soon. We still can just barely manage to get the desktops in the lab to cooperate with each other on most apps. And it is just software, and they are connected with cables, which are more reliable and higher transfer speeds. Or is there anyone here who manages to use distributed processing on most apps on their desktop?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing [wikipedia.org]

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262986)

Or is there anyone here who manages to use distributed processing on most apps on their desktop?

does incredibuild (when I'm programming), and rendering apps for filmFX work count?

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#37264082)

Several kinds of apps can already distribute their load across processors, workstations, and even operating systems. Most of our apps however don't do any of that. If I'm on an old, old, workstation running trying to run GIMP and Firefox with a bunch of web 2.0 apps, in an office full of idling quad-core workstations, the apps will still run slow as molasses. Even GMail and Google Maps won't run properly on old pc's anymore.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263030)

I don't know if it's Murphy's Law or something, but the technology to kill us or enslave us is always far easier to get working than the technology to help us better ourselves.Of course a big part of the problem is a lot of people believe that killing some of us makes the rest of us better.

Pronouns (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263132)

... a lot of people believe that killing some of them makes the rest of us better.

FTFY. Define "them" and "us" as deemed expedient in each case.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263182)

Of course a big part of the problem is a lot of people believe that killing some of us makes the rest of us better.

Mathematically, they're correct.
Kill off everybody except you and another random person, and you have improved the odds of being better than anybody else from microscopic to a staggering 50%. Kill him or her too, and you're the best person on the planet.

The real problem is the propensity towards thinking "best" is a synonym of "like me". So they want to improve others, not themselves. Religion makes this happen faster, by providing a framework for how others should be changed.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

FreeRadicalX (899322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263616)

Kill off everybody except you and another random person, and you have improved the odds of being better than anybody else from microscopic to a staggering 50%. Kill him or her too, and you're the best person on the planet.

Note that your odds of being the worst person increase the same way.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263900)

That's just "best" being undefined, which obviously is a requirement, so yes, you can change the sign without invalidating the logic.
The superlative being undefined means the logic will also work with "prettiest", "most well endowed", or any other trait one can identify oneself with. Which makes it surprising that the human race has survived. I guess the Russians love their children too.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37263096)

I dunno, *NIX seems to be managing the interwebs pretty well.Perhaps your choice to software is your source of frustration.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (2)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263186)

Or is there anyone here who manages to use distributed processing on most apps on their desktop?

I very frequently invoke a massive network of distributed computing nodes to perform internet searches for me. I expect you do too.

Cables? (1)

zedtwitz (2450246) | more than 3 years ago | (#37264538)

And it is just software, and they are connected with cables, which are more reliable and higher transfer speeds.

If I can see correctly, there are no cables at all between these robots. It's not even possible; how would the Eye-bot fly around with a cable attached to it? The main point of the demonstration is to show how different types of robots can work together to achieve a task, not demonstrate distributed computing.

Re:Cables? (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 3 years ago | (#37264896)

He was referring to the local computer network, not the "Swarmanoid" network.

Re:There was no "hello" - it's vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37274878)

I would argue that any random peer-to-peer software satisfies the description of being both distributed & cooperating. So yes, more than half the people reading your comment probably have bittorrent or the like in their past or present. I know of at least one company that has built self-organizing wireless components: essentially small wireless NICs that you attach to all the crap you have lying around in a field or warehouse, and it sorts out the details.

This AI example is not vaporware, even if these bots aren't going to be available at Walmart next year.

Re:Buh bye (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263148)

Wasnt there a /. story a while back about some University that developed an explosive that also released a short range EMP burst? iirc the Air Force wanted to use it to make missiles.

You make EMP by energizing a coil wrapped around some HE and then blowing it up. At least that's how it's done in the Tomahawk cruise missile. Perhaps you could put a coil of super-fine wire in the front of a shot shell, and put enough powder behind it to vaporize it.

Reminder ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262782)

Quote: "The evolution was controlled by "robot wars", and the only form that survived were swarms of minuscule, insect-like micromachines. Individually, or in small groups, they are quite harmless to humans and capable of only very simple behavior. However, when bothered, they can assemble into huge swarms displaying complex behavior arising from self-organization, and are able to defeat an intruder by a powerful surge of EMI."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Invincible

CC.

One letter too much... (1)

maggern (597586) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262796)

Remove the "S" in the name and then we're talking...

Re:One letter too much... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37262876)

What the fuck is a "warmanoid"?

Add to that (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262826)

'hand-bot,' which can climb bookcases and grab objects with hands; a 'foot-bot,' which can drive around and carry the hand-bot; and an 'eye-bot,'

Add to that dick-bot, the guy who came up with the idea

Re:Add to that (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262958)

Dick-bots is a separate field of study, more commonly referred to as tele-dildonics or just dildonics.

Re:Add to that (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263150)

Add to that dick-bot, the guy who came up with the idea

Also the camera-bot who is often in positions where one might expect a human helping/moving the bots (e.g. holding that string ...).

Sound design (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262858)

I just love how the choice of music, the clicks and whirrs, the way the footbots light up, all conspire to reinforce the sense of creeping dread.

Okay, you know you are out of shape (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#37264660)

One hint that you need to loose some weight is that when the idea of a little plastic robot moving a few meters per hour scares the living crap out of you.

These things would take half a day just to get to the door let alone open it. And then only if suddenly people start to make their roofs out of metal, perforated metal.

Terminator it is is not.

Re:Okay, you know you are out of shape (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37265248)

Mmm, zombies are so slow! You can just walk around them.

But if there's millions of them, it gets trickier.

Skynet?...not anytime soon. (1)

ray-solomon (835248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37262968)

Its going to be a loooong time before we worry about Skynet. ....and I mean a long long time.

Re:Skynet?...not anytime soon. (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263054)

That's exactly what Skynet would say...

Re:Skynet?...not anytime soon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37263192)

http://www.thirdage.com/news/massage-by-shoulderflex-massager-could-be-fatal-fda-warns_08-26-2011

Mantrid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37262990)

It's been done before.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e7/Lexx_mantrid.jpg

This project was terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37263090)

"The project terminated on September 30, 2010"

The only difference is their video (from last year) won an award earlier this month.

user-friendly robot assistant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37263110)

...your plastic pal that's fun to be with...

Kinected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37263152)

The foot-bot's Kinected to the hand-bot.
The hand-bot's Kinected to the eye-bot.
The eye-bot's Kinected to the foot-bot.
Oh mercy how they scare!

Humans (2)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263224)

Human beings among other mammals are comprised of many many fleshy robots that make up our systems. When nanotech reaches an apex, it will mimic nature to the extent that instead of three robots, you'll have infinite robots in any given robotic organism. The more the merrier; this is a survival tactic for organisms when cells die off or become injured the backup cells take over.

When a non-cellular robot is injured it must rely on the injury being located away from its repair features or the robot is written off completely. Not so with nanotech! If one falls, there are millions to take its place with the same functionality.

I thought there were only two kinds of robots (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263350)

The Pusher Robot and the Shover Robot. They've been taking care of my grandma lately.

Re:I thought there were only two kinds of robots (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 3 years ago | (#37271110)

Keep them away from the stairs!

Vashta Nerada (1)

Beriaru (954082) | more than 3 years ago | (#37263422)

You know where the swarms in books leads... Just dont let any shadow touch you.

Re:Vashta Nerada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37264484)

Thank goodness, I have my sonic on me ;)

Credit (1)

zedtwitz (2450246) | more than 3 years ago | (#37264466)

I actually posted this article, although I forgot to log in beforehand.

Hitchhiker's Guide (1)

Allyoop (1205264) | more than 3 years ago | (#37265046)

This reminds me of the little robots that come out of the woodwork at the Guide's head office to clean/sweep up debris then return to the woodwork. (coincidently the quote at the bottom of the this page is of Ford)

Prey (1)

nj_peeps (1780942) | more than 3 years ago | (#37265624)

Is it just me, or does any body else think of Prey by Micheal Crichton when they hear bout 'swarm bots'?

Re:Prey (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#37267956)

Yes. Though the word "Swarmanoid" threw me off for a bit.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?