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Robots Move into Formation Using Three-Dimensional Motion-Tracking Camera

A student at Georgia Tech University, Ted MacDonald has developed a system that enables multiple robots to move into formations without communicating with each other. The robots do not possess information about their whereabouts nor do they have any pre-defined memory.

The 15 Khepera robots move into a formation on a trial and error basis. They are designed to spell out the word GRITS that stands for Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems.

A three-dimensional motion-tracking camera was positioned above the robots to aid in the robotic formation. It can be used to evaluate the position of each robot and then transmit that data to all the robots through Wi-Fi. Each robot received the same data at any point of time. The robots can occupy completely random positions in the beginning. Following this, each robot makes a guess about the formation. All robots follow the same instructions and finally arrive at a solution.

Ted is currently working on a system that brings a leader robot into the formation. The leader robot will not follow the algorithm, but it will be remote controlled by a human to lead other robots in a formation. This robotic technology can be used to transfer multiple robotic vehicles from one point to another, thus avoiding congestion. The system can be utilized to make three-dimensional formations with aerial robots.

Source: http://www.gatech.edu/

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