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Robot Swarm Shifts Heavy Objects

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the robo-movers-sound-great dept.

142

holy_calamity writes "A swarm of robots has been demonstrated that can get together to transport an object too heavy for a single bot. Each robot is loaded with the same simple set of behaviors but more complex intelligence emerges from a group interacting. Two videos show the robots in action, and using a more complex behavior necessary when they're set to short sighted mode and can't see the target location from the starting point."

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Hah. (-1, Offtopic)

nathan s (719490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489859)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Guess a swarm of tiny robots ran off with the story.

Re:Hah. (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489923)

Actually, I think they ran off with the server. I can get the second video, but not the one of them "in action."

Re:Hah. (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490161)

I can get the second video, but not the one of them "in action."

Well, your office is clearly blocking material that's NSFW.

Cache? (2, Interesting)

tyler_larson (558763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490365)

So would it be legal to upload a copy of these videos to YouTube or Google Video in order to take the load off the NewScientist server, and make the content accessible?

You'd have to assume it's copyrighted content (since everything is copyrighted unless otherwise stated), and therefore not allowed. But how is a cached copy of a video on Google Video any different than a cached copy of a web page on Google Cache or MirrorDot? The purpose would be the same.

I did get a copy of one of the videos before the servers went kaput that I could upload to a cache if it's allowed.

Re:Cache? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490651)

Considering how they posted their own article on newscientisttech (the dyson airblade [newscientisttech.com] ) which has in the article a link to a demo video showing it hosted on youtube [youtube.com] I would say as long as you attribute it correctly (give it a newscientist tag and stuff) then it won't be seen in a really bad light.
If it is, they can always get it removed if they decide their ambiguous company policy (some on, some off) does not allow any of their videos to be posted.

thats my 2p anyway.

Re:Cache? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490859)

Additional to this, it was the same journalist who posted both articles.
Some consistency would be good...

hmmmmm might need modification (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489927)

The robots can adjust their caterpillar tracks, to ensure they are all pulling in the right direction. "Each robot has a traction sensor inside that detects all the external forces on it," explains Dorigo. A robot uses its sensor to identify any conflicting forces, and then changes direction accordingly.

So, once its carrying your cargo along the path and begins to slide down a slope all the tracks will turn in unison to help carry it down the hill to its doom. They won't think anything is wrong because everyone will be pulling in the same direction.

Apart from this minor detail i think w00t!

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490311)

Well, clearly you need to add more "manager" robots to direct the worker bots.

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (2, Informative)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490759)

So, once its carrying your cargo along the path and begins to slide down a slope all the tracks will turn in unison to help carry it down the hill to its doom. They won't think anything is wrong because everyone will be pulling in the same direction.
I'm assuming maybe this was more of a humorous comment, but I'll take the bait. It would be trivial (I would think) to add a pitch sensor of some sort, then do a little bit of simply physics/trig to adjust the force calculations.

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490951)

Unfortunately that wouldn't work either.
Uneven ground would make their sensors go wrong.

GP Darth had the best solution, and I never thought I would bring myself to say this but,
there aren't enough managers.

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492081)

There's no ego, so managers aren't needed. If more than a certain percentage (70%?) of them are headed downhill, that's probably a bad thing, and they should probably stop.

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (4, Funny)

SigILL (6475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490589)

So, once its carrying your cargo along the path and begins to slide down a slope all the tracks will turn in unison to help carry it down the hill to its doom. They won't think anything is wrong because everyone will be pulling in the same direction.

Yeah, totally unlike humans!

Er, wait...

Re:hmmmmm might need modification (2, Funny)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491397)

hmmmmm might need modification

The title certainly does. When I first read the header/title, I thought it said "Robot Swarm Shits Heavy Objects."

mama mia (0, Offtopic)

the_last_rites (837649) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489935)

hombre , dese robots stole aaaur jobs

It's a simple question of weight rations. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16489945)

A 5 oz bird cannot carry a 1 lb cocoanut.

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490049)

Wait a minute! Supposing two birds carried it together?

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (4, Funny)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490077)

To keep this a bit on topic...

"Wait a minute! Supposing two swallows carried it together?"

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (2, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490463)

African or European Swallows?

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (3, Funny)

CodeViolator (992577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490557)

What? Held under the dorsal guiding feathers?

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (1)

Isotopian (942850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491777)

"No, then they'd have to have it on a line."
"Well simple! They'd just use a strand of creeper!"
"What? Held under the dorsal quiding feathers?"
"Well why not?"

Re:It's a simple question of weight rations. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490671)

The robots were developed by Marco Dorigo at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, along with colleagues at the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology in Italy and the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Dalle Molle Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence, both in Switzerland.

"It could be carried by an African swallow."
"Oh yeah, an African swallow, maybe, but not a European swallow. That's my point. "
"But then the African swallow's not migratory.. ."

I welcome our new army of robot-swarm overlords (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16489947)

I for one welcome our new army of robot-swarm overlords.

Re:I welcome our new army of robot-swarm overlords (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16490121)

Welcoming them is the only choice we have. After all, the only protection we have against robot attacks, the tips in How to Survive a Robot Uprising [amazon.com] , only work against single robots. If they are able to effectively band together against a target, we're doomed. At least insurance is available [robotmarketplace.com] for letting your family pull through after the metal ones come for you.

Re:I welcome our new army of robot-swarm overlords (2, Funny)

homebrewmike (709361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492139)

Oh yeah?

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Hey - it had to be said.

Meanwhile... (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489973)

A swarm of /. surfers "shifted" that in-story video link (and I'm assuming its server) into oblivion!

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491033)

I have Oblivion running next to me, but I can't see any video?

Swarm attacks web server... (0, Redundant)

Namlak (850746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489983)

A swarm of /. users has been demonstrated that can get together to transport a web server into the afterlife...

This isn't too shocking (1)

tehlinux (896034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489987)

Because robots are strong. And they're made of metal.

Re:This isn't too shocking (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490585)

...and they eat old people's medicine for fuel

Re:This isn't too shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491255)

I'm pretty old and have a lot of medicine. Would you recommend I eat it all at once to prevent the robots from using it?

Re:This isn't too shocking (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491465)

No, just simply send all of your medicine to me, and I'll take good care of it. Those medicine eating robots can bite my shiny metal....oh crap i've said too much. ERROR! ERROR! YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

Oh no, I'm scared (feigning fear)......... (1)

Vvaghel1 (1008177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16489993)

i have a gut feeling this story has been written in a way that takes simple developments out of context. The day i worry about robots getting too smart is when the saying about monkeys in front of typewriters writing epics at a ratio of 1000 monkeys for a year = 1 literary epic (or something like that) is reduced to one robot w/ the ability to compose one literary epic in one minute. Then we have something to talk/worry about..............

Re:Oh no, I'm scared (feigning fear)......... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490155)

OT, but is part of your SIG missing? Or is the incompleteness part of the joke?

Re:Oh no, I'm scared (feigning fear)......... (1)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490225)

I think the line is "It's God's responsibility to punish the terrorists. It's our responsibility to arrange the meeting." Or something like that.

(google gets a lot of variants of this)

Re:Oh no, I'm scared (feigning fear)......... (0, Offtopic)

Vvaghel1 (1008177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490263)

yes. better fix that

Peep hole (1)

Nick Fury (624480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490015)

Why does it look like this video was taken through a hole in a box? It's just sort of weird...

Re:Peep hole (3, Funny)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490257)

The camera man had to hide in there to avoid spooking the robots.

But can they.... (4, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490031)

But can they impersonate a T-Rex and mystify John Locke?

kawaiii (0, Offtopic)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490033)

They are so cute!!!!!!!

abuse of moderation (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490821)

This comment may be stupid, but it is not offtopic and there's no "-1, Stupid" mod (unless you count "Overrated")

Oh great... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16490081)

Borg v0.1

Re:Oh great... (1)

glassjaw rocks (793596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490139)

you say so little, yet so much.

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491035)

Borg Babies (they were after all, kinda cute looking)

a HA! (2, Funny)

justinbach (1002761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490085)

So THAT'S how they built the pyramids!

The Invincible (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490087)

The Invincible [wikipedia.org] by Lem describes a planet populated by a swarm of self-replicating robots, that are very small and simple individually, but as a group display extremely complex behaviours, have swarm memory.

So all we need to do is to show these robots how to self-replicate, I am sure most people on /. know enough about this practice that they should be able to explain this to a robot. And then we are all set. (did I mention that the swarm of these robots killed off everything else on the planet? But it will make the highways go faster.)

Re:The Invincible (1)

nEJC76 (904161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490669)

Why a book when TV show [wikipedia.org] will do?
Some of us are too lazy to read... ;)

Re:The Invincible (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490717)

So all we need to do is to show these robots how to self-replicate, I am sure most people on /. know enough about this practice that they should be able to explain this to a robot.

Spanking the monkey in front of the computer will not enable robots to self-replicate.

Why wasn't this a simulation? (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490089)

The object was apparently to demonstrate something or other regarding cooperation strategies between robots with limited communication abilities and limited knowledge of the surroundings.

What, precisely, was gained by doing this with actual physical robots, rather than a computer simulation?

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490153)

What is gained by building the building once you have the architectural drawings?

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490219)

Perhaps the people have a grandmother....

PAK CHOOIE

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490221)


What, precisely, was gained by doing this with actual physical robots, rather than a computer simulation?

Gee, maybe things like accounting for things you never thought or had the ability to simulate? What makes you think that a computer can model every single thing (frictional forces, heat and stress on motors, etc) as well as actual reality?

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490453)

No, but surely it can model the _cooperative_ aspects.

I wouldn't trust a computer to predict whether a robot hand is capable of cracking an egg and peeling off the shell without damaging the membrane underneath.

But I would trust a computer to model the effect of having robot A shine a blue light, robot B shine a red light, have robot A programmed to move toward a red light at 1 mph, and have robot B programmed to move away from a blue light at 2 mph. And I would trust it to model the effect of a twenty such robots.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (3, Insightful)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491119)

Interaction effects result in "emergent" behavior because it's not readily apparent from the behavior of individuals. That is to say, sense-and-respond cycles are not easy to model unless you start out with a lot of data. A good example is ants--single ants wandering around demonstrate chaotic behavior in time and in space, whereas large numbers of ants demonstrate very ordered behavior (purposeful movement, all taking rests at the same time, etc.). We can model this because we've seen it, but before we ever saw it, it would probably have been outside of our abilities to predict that it would happen.

In terms of complexity hierarchy, it doesn't make sense to make a model that is just an aggregation of different objects. You don't talk about the group behavior entirely in terms of the objects making up the group, because the objects don't demonstrate group behavior--the group does--so in some sense "half a herd of robots" doesn't make any sense. From the perspective from which the group behavior is evident, the group is a unitary individual.

Clear as mud?

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491475)

No, but surely it can model the _cooperative_ aspects.

Gee, I wonder if they evar thought of that!!!1!

That's like seeing a Boeing 777 airplane flying in the air and asking "you know they should of just modeled that on a 'puter"

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491691)

But we're not talking about just shining lights here, we're talking about moving an object. That involves modeling the frictional forces, possibly balance, etc. Modeling parts of the co-operative aspects before hand would probbably help in the programming design of the robots, but if you want to know if it's actually going to work (how quickly does each robot need to respond to change X, etc), it's probbably easier to just build the damn things.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491949)

It wasn't a simulation because you then couldn't make a neat demonstration and show it in real time to the numb-nuts military dweeb in charge of your DoD grant.

Or, if you work for the Media Lab, you couldn't have made a cute little video for the Discovery Channel to drool over.

It's all about the marketing, not the science. OF COURSE it would have made more sense to have simulated the behavior. And it could have been done at a fraction of the cost.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492115)

>What, precisely, was gained by doing this with actual physical robots, rather than a computer simulation?

>>Gee, maybe things like accounting for things you never thought or had the ability to simulate?

Or put simply, nature has already declared all of its variables.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

arcmay (253138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490267)


People have been doing this in simulation for a while...thumb through the proceedings of pretty much any conference that touches on swarm robotics (or just play Pikmin). At some point you actually need to build the damn thing to convince people it will work in practice. In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, etc.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490371)

What, precisely, was gained by doing this with actual physical robots, rather than a computer simulation?

Knowledge.

When I'm going where I've already been a computer model will suffice. When I'm going where I've never gone before only a physical model will do.

The inherent weakness of the computer model is that, even when using it to make predictions, it will only tell you what you already know and it will do so unerringly, even if what you know is . . .well, wrong.

KFG

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490373)

Because they can.

Simulations are horribly annoying to program (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490415)

They are just too annoying to program that it's probably easier to build a robot especially when dealing with unideal situations. An ultrasonic sensor can have so many different modes of failure (ie Specular reflection. Sheets. Cross Talk. Etc. Etc. Etc.) that it's better just to use an actual robot.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490799)


In theory, you're right: there's no difference. But in practice...

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (2, Insightful)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490835)

What, precisely, was gained by doing this with actual physical robots, rather than a computer simulation?

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." -- Computer Scientist Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut (or Yogi Berra, depending on who you believe)

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

dekkerdreyer (1007957) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491047)

I advise you read "I, Robot" (not watch the movie, READ THE BOOK) to realize some of the things that a computer simulation may not catch.

Re:Why wasn't this a simulation? (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491099)

between robots with limited communication abilities and limited knowledge of the surroundings.

You answered your own question right there. It can be extremely difficult to simulate the 'unknowns' present in a real environment. So yes, you can simulate comms degredation and limited sensor range, but what about "unknown unknowns"? Things that fall into that category might be if your comms are short range modulated IR, what is the effect of reflections? Or if it is RF, similarly, what about environmental interference and multipathing issues? These are all things that can be simulated, but only by performing a lot of overhead to calculate them, in fact it would probably take longer to accurately simulate all these things than to build the robots and see what happens! The same goes for unanticipated frictional forces which play heavily on this particular research. It's all well and good to assume constant frictional coefficients across a continuous floor surface, but something as simple as how well the janitor last waxed it could greatly affect localized areas and therefore the realtime actions of the robots.

In theory, theory is the same as practice, but in practice this is rarely so.

Anyone else remember "progammable matter" blocks? (1)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490095)

Does anyone else remember those "programmable matter" blocks someone was pushing on a website several years back? They were white blocks about a cubic foot in diamater, that supposdely could be linked together to do anything you wanted to. Sort of nanotechnology on a macro scale. Supposedly their first profitable application was going to be in bridge building.

Anyway, these sound similar, except for the fact that there was always something a little fishy about that "programmable matter" site...

Crow T. Trollbot

Re:Anyone else remember "progammable matter" block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16490361)

"Sort of nanotechnology on a macro scale."

Wouldn't that just be, uh, technology?

Re:Anyone else remember "progammable matter" block (1)

Numbah One (821914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490853)

aren't those called "Legos"? :)

A cool blackbox extension :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16490105)

I'd love to see Sun [sun.com] implement this as an extention to their Project Blackbox [sun.com] . Now you can not only have a datacentre anywhere you like, but you can also move it about a little after the crane has gone ;-)

Obligatory (1)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490109)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of those things. Oh wait...

Wasting time w/Humanoids? (4, Insightful)

TheMadTech (1015223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490145)

All these Japanese companies are dead set on the whole humanoid robot concept. While the AI systems are clearly a joke, why focus so much energy on bipedal movement? It is clearly not the easiest mode of transportation. Human walking is essentially controlled falling. Oh great a bunch of things that kind of resemble humans can lift something heavy all together. Why not just build a smart forklift to do the same job autonomously. It just doesn't make any sense.

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490595)

While they may not be masters of the art (because as yet nobody is) the Japanese are, nonetheless, the current masters of the nonhumaoid, form follows industrial function robot worker and they sell them all over the world. They're a bit of old hat. Nobody's going to grab a USA Today headline with "Robot that builds cars."

They are looking forward to a different market now.

Say hello to Yvette, your new household worker and companion; and sing the body electric.

KFG

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (4, Informative)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490603)

A few misconceptions to clear up:

  1. The robots are not bipedal
  2. The scientists are from Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (2, Interesting)

augustz (18082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490697)

A couple of reasons:

- They already ARE making lots of functional type robots. Toyotas factories have these all over the place.
- The world as it is is designed for bipedals. If you can model a humans' movement, you can operate much of the human world potentially (climb ladders, etc)
- There is a potential market for the humanoid concept. I think the market is validated in some ways by the amount of coverage they are getting for these things.

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490725)

Well, when you can only send one type of robot to mars, it is best to find the most adaptible one. Having one style of robot that is capable of lifting heavy objects, climbing a rope, driving a vehicle, fixing other robots, etc. is a powerful argument. It lessens the number of separate robots that need to be sent, it allows them to function for a longer time (self repair) using a single common stock of replacement parts. Most significant, they are capable of being modified purely in software to accomplish tasks widely divergent from their original design criteria.

Sure, there are probably better designes for specific tasks, but I don't think that is the point. Is there a better, simpler design for the non-specific task?

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490785)

While the AI systems are clearly a joke, why focus so much energy on bipedal movement?

You don't need strong AI to perform bipedal movement. The world of researchers does not have to choose between researching bidpeal movement and strong AI capable of interacting with other AIs; this is not a video game - you can research more than one thing in a nation, or even the world.

Oh great a bunch of things that kind of resemble humans can lift something heavy all together. Why not just build a smart forklift to do the same job autonomously.

Perhaps because it is coopoeration in performaing a task that was the object here? How in the hell do you claim that bipedal movement was the goal when this is the description of the bots:
Each Swarm-bot is 19 centimetres high, has a rotating turret, a claw-like gripper and moves using a combination of caterpillar tracks and wheels. Each also has a basic computer and is loaded with the same software.
?

There is nothing insightful about your post since it has no connection to the article. Hell you whining about Japanese obsession with humanoid robots is so aff topic it is ludicrous. Here is why:
The robots were developed by Marco Dorigo at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, along with colleagues at the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology in Italy and the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Dalle Molle Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence, both in Switzerland.


Where the hell you get Japanese out of that is beyond rationality. Maybe you should examine your biases a bit.

This experiment was about cooperation between autonomous systems without specific communication between them. This is a very promising direction with benefits ranging from more realistic RTS exploration routines to automated housing construction systems and site security systems. For example: Imagine a series of small bots that detect an intruder. Through coopoeration and without human intervention they track the intruder and keep each other apprised of the goings on in the event one of them observing it gets "taken out". Another example: imagine a series of robots on a construction site that detect a heavy object tipping over. They each see it and react, combining their abilities to prevent the object from causing damage or loss of life. Your automated forklift would simply get smashed. Yeah, fat lot of good that does.

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (2, Funny)

Quixadhal (45024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490989)

It has nothing to do with efficiency.

The Japanese have created humanoid robots. They will create human-like robots. These robots will be made to look exactly like female humans that don't actually exist. Once that's done, it's just a matter of time before we will all welcome our Japanese Pr0n Overlords.

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491381)

Can a smart forklift go up stairs? Or unload directly from the back of a truck, take a box up some stairs, through the front door, and into the living room?

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

neverpsyked (578012) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491487)

When you use the term "AI," people immediately think of a human-like consciousness. The same phenomenon occurs with robotics. For some reason, creation of intelligent pseudo-life is likened in our minds with procreation. Hence, that creation is in our own image.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." The Bible, KJV, Genesis 1:26.

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491639)

I've often wondered this myself, why the preoccupation. But I'm going to put that off for a more important question. Since factory robots have essentially just replaced peoples' jobs, turning former manufacturing laborers into Walmart workers as they are replaced with machines and Chinese laborers, what happens when there's a robot capable of every job we have on earth. Essentially would everyone just be poor? Modern conveniences are supposed to make our workload easier, but when robots and computers do more to replace workers than they do to enhance our amount of leisure time, where exactly does this trend end?

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491957)

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com] perhaps?

Re:Wasting time w/Humanoids? (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492199)

i think the robots will still do more to increase leisure time...just not the workers who have been replaced's leisure time. the people who designed/built/sold the robots, and the people to run the companies that bought the robots and laid off the workers.

Horah for natural selection (1)

spankey51 (804888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490315)

Cool. Natural selection will play a larger and larger role in robotics and R&D. Now that computers are of sufficient power to crunch large enough numbers, people are starting to use them for some pretty cool thing (like designing fission reactors as mentioned in TFA)
I'm having trouble finding it, but there is an article that discusses the design of spacecraft antennae: Using natural selection to refine the shape to maximize efficiency. The thing that is cool about TFA is that these dudes use natural selection for behavioral modification.
I can't wait to see what they'll say when people ask them to solve political issues!

When the swarm goes apeshat... (1)

wwiiol_toofless (991717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490349)

...and we need a way to destroy them, just clone a swarm of mini-"Ah-nulds" to travel back into the past to bite the ankles of the inventor of the robot-swarm!

Load bearing robots huh? (1)

RavenofNi (948641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490363)

Given their servers are already hosed I think they need some robots to hold the bandwidth load.

Re:Load bearing robots huh? (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491783)

Those tubes get mighty heavy when full, eh?

slashdotted (5, Funny)

gerbouille (663639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490413)

Watch the power of thousands of /.ers! Individually, they can't crash a web server, but together - with limited communication and intelligence - they can...

Cooperating robots (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490461)

There have been a few previous efforts in this direction. Somebody, I think at UCLA, did some nice work in this area around 1990. They had a pair of small forklift-type machines which worked together to lift larger objects. One would get on each end of a couch, for example, and with very limited intercommunication but good force sensing, they'd move the couch together.

That seemed a very practical idea, but it wasn't followed up at the time. There are many industrial and construction applications where two coordinated machines of moderate size could do a job that would otherwise require a much bigger machine.

Oh Noes!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16490517)

Here come the replicators!! Someone get Samantha Carter.

Re:Oh Noes!! (1)

jrister (922621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491903)

Aw crap, you beat me to the obligatory replicators comment. Damn you.
Where's the Azgard?

Management (4, Funny)

955301 (209856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490605)


Looking at the video, try to spot the project management behavior that shows up towards the end once four of the bots figure out how to drag the object over. One of them just stops doing anything and stands out away from the group as if trying to think of ways to empower the resources to realize their action items.

It is this bot that must be destroyed before the future of robotics is harmed.

Re:Management (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491177)

Yeah, the last thing we need is Pointy-Haired-Bots!

Minority Report (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16490649)

Reminds me of the robotic spiders in Minority Report that cooperated in searching. I thought it was a very cool scene.

Swarmed the server (1)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491155)

Video server is ./'ed lookes like they need a "swarm" of servers in a beowulf cluster to handle this load.

grammar :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16491201)

I bet if those robots got together, they could write a better article than the author.
short-sighted and near-sighted are two different things.

This page was generated (2, Funny)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491383)

... by a Swarm of Green Robots.

Moo (0, Redundant)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491655)

Slashdot user submits a story for uber First Post.

Slashdot Editor posts the story to add some inane dept line.

Millions of drones slashdot the website.

I don't even think that's consider artificial intellegence.

Slashdot intellegence maybe?

"Stimulus reponse! Stimulus reponse! Don't you ever think?!"

Re:Moo (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492011)

Intelligence. Note the 'i' in the middle bit.

Sigh. Even quoting a Far Side cartoon doesn't compensate for that.

They look liked ants! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491759)

Heh, the video clip looked like worker ants trying to work together to move the object.

pikmin (1)

antiaktiv (848995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16491801)

Oh come on, I can't be the only one who thought of Pikmin when they saw that video. Anyone?
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