back to article ROBOT COCKROACH SWARM unleashed in Sheffield lab

Robot boffins have trained a swarm of mini-machines to work together, finding each other and grouping together to carry out simple tasks. The 40-strong Robot Swarm Inspired by Nature (see video above) can fetch and carry much larger objects by working together like ants. They can also regroup after being scattered across the …

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Trollface

Key is to work out what is the minimum amount of information needed [...] to accomplish its task.

The real test for the minimum amount of information will be to sit it down in front of Windows 8.

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Devil

Re: Key is to work out what is the minimum amount of information needed.....

LOL - Sure that is not the minimum amount of intelligence? and not the minimum amount of information?..

After all it is Microsoft.

Perhaps it's both.

After all it is Microsoft.

LOL......

Perhaps cockroaches are too smart for that shit.

That is why according to recent surveys, 98% of them prefer Linux.

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Happy

@Oh4FS Re: Key is to work out what is the minimum amount of information needed.....

Eadon will be most upset that you're comparing him to a cockroach!

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Black Helicopters

Hmmm

Perhaps time to search amazon.com for "wifi jammer"

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Looks pretty cool, like a more sophisticated version of the "swarm" that Reading Uni Cybernetics department had in the early 90s. Those machines only had ultrasonics, you could program how they worked by flashing an eeprom, you could get various types of behavior, including swarming, out of them.

One behavior that you did get was the "sodding off out of the lab because you'd left the door open", that was until they were given a "pen".

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Coat

Did somebody call for an exterminator?

Mines the coat with the Blizzard logo on the back.

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No shoes!

There's a sign saying "No shoes". He's wearing shoes.

What a rebel.

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Alert

Re: No shoes!

I'm surprised H&S/HR allow that. They usually freak out about people going shoeless in offices, never mind labs.

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Anonymous Coward

Noise

A music background to what is basically a lecture makes it difficult to hear what is being said. Apparently the older you get the harder is to differentiate speech from background music.

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Re: Noise

"Apparently the older you get the harder is to differentiate speech from background music."

Pardon?

If this is true, I'm royally screwed. I have had a lot of trouble with that from my early teens.

Strangely, I can pick out a particular instrument from an orchestra no problem. But if someone tries to speak to me, directly in my ear, while listening to said orchestra, I need it repeating 3-4 times before I understand.

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Re: Noise

>Apparently the older you get the harder is to differentiate speech from background music.

I don't know about that, but the music was annoying and did interfere with the clarity of his speech.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Noise

There is an older demographic that listen to BBC Radio 4. Listeners regularly complain about unnecessary "mood" music obscuring the speech content of programmes and trailers. The response from the relevant programme makers suggests they learned the technique on their media study courses - as a way to "add interest" for youngsters with short attention spans. Increasing their listener market share by attracting younger people is their management Holy Grail.

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Anonymous Coward

"Robot Swarm Inspired by Nature"

That's scientists for you. Always R-SIN about.

I'll get my coat.

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Mushroom

This looks awesome, BUT...

Do these robots also abide by the 3-rule law of robotics? ;-)

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Re: This looks awesome, BUT...

" we don' need no steenkin' rules"

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Alert

Re: This looks awesome, BUT...

http://dilbert.com/fast/2013-03-28/

Nuff said

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Happy

Immediately makes off with pizza box

Now THAT'S funny!

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Terminator

I for one welcome our massively distributed, pizza guzzling overlords

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Oh look...

Its the new editorial staff of the Daily Mail being put through their paces. A prize for the person who steps on ersatz Richard Littlejohn!

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Unhappy

Always looks cool but probably more flexible to do this in simulation

Problem is if you decide (late in the day) you want to add some new kind of sensor you've got a lot of hardware to fiddle about with.

One of these ideas that appeals to lecturers but less so to their students, who get stuck with the upgrading.

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Re: Always looks cool but probably more flexible to do this in simulation

Or the technical staff, who get stuck with the task of building the things - working out along the way that the hardware will never work as designed, why the code supplied doesn't work either and rewriting everyuthing from scratch.

There's a lot to be said for simulations, as long as they cover all the bases, ncluding mechanical complexity.

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Boffin

Re: Always looks cool but probably more flexible to do this in simulation

That's what's strange - I recall doing this sort of thing during behavioural AI lectures at Ed Uni in software/simulation back in 1998. So I'm not sure what's "new" exactly?

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Reminds me of the drivers on the roads around here.

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Coat

So...

...am I the only guy that was hoping they'd swarm him and eat his face?

What? Only me?

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Coat

Re: So...

No, you're not alone. The thought of him being mugged and systematically dismantled by his own creations occurred to me as well... What my idea was to combine these things with RepRap technology with a view to research ultimately leading to a Grey Goo style system, and then put in motion my long-cherished plan to destroy the world, MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Anonymous Coward

Cockroaches??? Jellyfish???

Both of these articles talk about ROBOTS not the animals your imagination conjures up. If you say Cockroach Robot, you are saying it's a robot made of a cockroach. This is certainly not the case. Please keep the headlines at least technically accurate.

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