Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
by Staff Writers
Raleigh, N.C. (UPI) Oct 17, 2013
A swarm of insect cyborgs, or "biobots," may one day allow the mapping of unknown and dangerous environments such as collapsed buildings, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers from North Carolina State University say they have have developed software that could track a swarm of biobots, such as remotely controlled cockroaches, equipped with electronic sensors and released into a collapsed building or other hard-to-reach area.
"We focused on how to map areas where you have little or no precise information on where each biobot is, such as a collapsed building where you can't use GPS technology," electrical and computer engineering Professor Edgar Lobaton said.
Because the biobots couldn't be tracked by GPS, their precise locations would be unknown, but the sensors would signal researchers via radio waves whenever biobots got close to each other.
The researchers would send a signal commanding the biobots to keep moving until they encounter a wall or other unbroken surface, then keep moving along it, a technique called "wall following."
Repeating cycles of random movement and "wall following" would eventually allow the creation of a map of the unknown environment, they said.
"This would give first responders a good idea of the layout in a previously unmapped area," Lobaton said.
The researchers report they've tested the software using computer simulations and robots and have plans to test the program with biobots.
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|