Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Watch a simple tablet control robot swarm
by Brooks Hays
Atlanta (UPI) May 12, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have programmed a fleet of robots to respond to a basic set of commands issued via a tablet device.

A tablet interface represents the floorspace, within which the small, hockey puck-like robots navigate. When the screen is touched, the location glows and a corresponding light appears on the floor. Users can simply touch their finger on the tablet, and the fleet of robots will follow to the corresponding point on the floor.

The robots have been programmed to communicate with each other and navigate their way to the circle of light. Their communication system allows them to evenly occupy the lighted space without bumping into each other. Swiping or dragging a finger across the screen causes the light to do the same. The obedient robots follow.

Touch two places on the tablet simultaneously and two corresponding lights appear. The robots will automatically divide themselves evenly and occupy each light accordingly.

The revelatory part of the technology isn't so much the simplified instruction delivery method -- finger and tablet -- but the programming that allows a swarm of robots to respond en masse to generalized instructions.

"It's not possible for a person to control a thousand or a million robots by individually programming each one where to go," researcher Magnus Egerstedt, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said in a press release. "Instead, the operator controls an area that needs to be explored. Then the robots work together to determine the best ways to accomplish the job."

Egerstedt says the technology could be used to send hundreds of small robots into disaster areas to explore dangerous or hard-to-navigate confines, searching for injured victims.

"In the future, farmers could send machines into their fields to inspect the crops," researcher and PhD candidate, Yancy Diaz-Mercado, offered. "Workers on manufacturing floors could direct robots to one side of the warehouse to collect items, then quickly direct them to another area if the need changes."

The engineers recently described their technology in a paper published in IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

IBM's Watson strives to be jack of all trades
New York (AFP) May 10, 2015
Watson already has won a major TV game show, is looking for a cure for cancer and has ambitious gastronomy ambitions including devising a recipe for chocolate-beef burritos. The IBM supercomputer is becoming a jack of all trades for the US tech giant - including in its new role as a business consultant and analyst for various industries by using massive Internet databases. Watson, which ... read more

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

Student Mars Rover team will compete in Utah desert

NASA Announces Journey to Mars Challenge

UAE says on track to send probe to Mars in 2021

4,000+ Martian Days of Work on Mars!

Welding Begins on Orion Pathfinder

Aitech Provides Subsystem and Computing Boards for Commercial Crew

The language of invention: Most innovations are rephrasings of the past

NASA Confirms Electromagnetic Drive Produces Thrust in Vacuum

3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

Manned mission to ISS to be delayed due to cargo spacecraft's failure

Progress Incident Not Threatening Orbital Station, Work of Crew

Russia loses control of unmanned spacecraft

Japanese astronaut to arrive in ISS in May

'Team Patrick-Cape' supports Pad Abort Test

Local launch expertise; world-wide attention

Successful SpaceX escape test 'bodes well for future'

ILS And Dauria announce Proton/Angara dual launch services agreement

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

Robotically discovering Earth's nearest neighbors

DARPA developing zoom lens to spot distant space objects more clearly

Scientists create cheaper magnetic material for cars, wind turbines

Researchers match physical and virtual atomic friction experiments

A silver lining

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.