Robot Societies --From Simulator Studies towards a Real World Application

Mika Vainio, Aarne Halme, Peter Jakubik, Torsten Schönberg, Pekka Appelqvist

In our research we use a biologically inspired term robot society as a generic technical concept to describe a group of autonomous mobile robots working together towards a common goal. These robots operate under diverse interactions with each other and with the environment. Equipped basically only with simple behaviors they are in a way gaining "intelligence through interactions" and are capable of performing rather complex behaviors at the society level. Due to the nature of this research (i.e., large number of robots) simulators have been the main tools so far. Recently, however, we have been able to produce a physical underwater robot society. This society operates currently in laboratory conditions, but a real world application in clean water systems is under development.

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