Formica: Swarm robotics

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I've been working with Rob, Steve, Alexis and Jo to develop a swarm robotics platform. It's for the "Biologically Inspired Robotics" module in the fourth year, which I can't recommend highly enough. Last weekend we had an insane build festival where we built 25 tiny robots! Thanks to Klaus, Tobias and Tom and Justyn for helping out with some soldering.

I'm pretty excited about the robots as they're much cheaper than all other swarm robots around, possibly by a factor of 10, and smaller than most. Total cost for 25, PCBs and all, has been about £10 per robot. They also have some pretty exciting features; IR comms, >2 hour battery life whilst driving, differential drive from two mobile phone motors, a photoreflective "food" sensor, autonomous charging by contact with a powered rail,  multicolour "mood" led to display behaviour. Also, they're tiny: 30x28x15mm. For our module we hope to get them to emulate some bee and ant behaviours (hence the name), but I hope their use will extend beyond our project.

Check out some rough videos of early behaviour:


 


 I'm quite proud of the bed of nails too: (for programming and testing).


 

Fun stuff! Check out my youtube, flickr and Rob's site for more media. Lots more exicement to come; watch those spaces.

 

 

Submitted by jeff on Sat, 05/17/2008 - 15:48. categories [ ]

Woah, stonking work

Woah, stonking work guys...

J

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Making Swarm Bots

Dude this is awesome! Do you have any schematics or parts lists so I can make some?

by all means!

Check out the link Formica in the menu on the left. Rob and I are working on a kit (we've been saying this for a long while now, but we really mean it! We've scheduled some development meetings in the coming weeks and some stuff will be coming out soon). Schematics, code, PCB layouts and all have been released. We will update them to reflect the changes made for the kit when we've finished making them!

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Formica Swarm Robot

Hello,

I'm really interested in your project of robots, but tell me more about the programming used (because I haven't found anything about the programming), the language, the program, etc.

Thanks.

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