Self-Assembling Robot Swarm
The Distributed Flight Array is a robotic flying platform consisting of multiple autonomous single propeller vehicles that are able to drive, dock with their peers, and then fly in a coordinated fashion.
(Distributed Flight Array video)
The individual vehicles of the Distributed Flight Array have fixed propellers that can lift them into the air, but the resulting flight is erratic and uncontrolled. Joined together, however, these relatively simple modules evolve into a sophisticated multi-propeller system capable of coordinated flight.
The task of keeping the array in level flight is distributed across the network of vehicles. Vehicles exchange information and combine this information with their own sensor measurements to determine how much thrust is needed for the array to take-off and maintain level flight. If the array’s leveled flight is disturbed, each vehicle individually determines the amount of thrust required to correct for the disturbance based on its position in the array and the array’s motion.
Fans of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age might be thinking of the dog pod grid, a defensive array of aerostats.
An early science-fictional reference to the idea of a self-assembling robot can be found in The Witches of Karres, a 1966 novel by James Schmitz.
The Sheem Robots were modeled after living animals of various worlds, and the Spider is considered to have been the most perfect of them all. This is the last specimen still in existence. You asked whether I had assembled it recently... Yes, I have. It's a most simple process...
The captain swung the gun up, pointed it at Yango's chest.
"What are you hiding?" he asked.
"Why, the activating mechanism," Yango frowned puzzledly. "I understood you wished to see it assembled. You see, the Sheen Robots assemble themselves when the signal to do it is registered by them."
From Distributed Flight Array via Geek.com.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/24/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.
CommU Robot Children Scare Me
'Is David malfunctioning?' - Brian Aldiss, 1967.
VelociRoACH Insect Robots Cooperate
'They wheeled and turned in macabre simultaneity...'- Isaac Asimov, 1944.
Best Surgeon? The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot
'The fingers were long and were shaped into artistically metallic, looping curves...' - Isaac Asimov, 1976.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Ignition Interlock Devices Stopped 1.7 Million Drunken Tries
'Maybe the car was right...'
Man Filmed Sleeping In Tesla On Autopilot
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
Otto Self-Driving Truck Kits
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'
Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.'
Is This Robotic Hand As Quick As Yours?
'V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot of precision quality...'
DARPA's XS-1 Spaceplane
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.'
OMG! DIY Arduino Robot Vacuum Cleaner Like Bradbury's Mice
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
NASA Culturing ISS Walls For Microbes
'Collect organisms and dust for study...'
Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'
Implants Melt In Your Brain, Not In Your Hands
Implant and forget - they melt in your brain, not in your hands.
Baby Boomers Will LOVE Autonomous Cars (Trust Me!)
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars....'
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet Tests His Suit
'The interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'
DIY Method To Summon Tesla With Amazon Echo
'Thomas focussed the violet beam of a hand flash on a plate...'
AI Lawyer 'Ross' Gets First Job
'Why don't we just feed the bloody thing to LEX...'
MIT's Second Skin Enhances Original Skin
'I must care, or I wouldn't live in this lying skin suit...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories