What are the Swarm Robots and their applications?

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Swarm Robots are based on the concept of many robots portraying like a coordination system that consists of basically physical robots. The required behaviour of the robotic system emerges from the interactions which robots make with each other and as well as the environment. The biological study of insects like honeybees, ants, flocking of bird, fish schooling, herding of animals, the growth pattern of various bacterias, movement of drones, and microbial intelligence all influence the working of artificial swarm robots. In simple words, we can say that it is the knowledge and making of robots with swarm intelligence, and also their physical body as well as control behaviour. Though it is not limited by but definitely inspired by the uneven behaviour of the social insects, called swarm intelligence.

Swarm Robots
Source: Wikipedia – Image of the s-bot mobile robot climbing a step in the swarm-bot configuration.

Examples of Swarm Robots:

LIBOT is an example of a swarm robot and it includes the robot system which is cheap and works on GPS sensors. It is usually used for outdoor purposes but it can be made useful for indoor also by using WiFi connection because the GPS sensors become weaker indoors.

What are swarm robots used for?

Now let us move onto the applications of Swarm Robots. Swarm Robots have a number of applications in various diverse fields. So, let us discuss in details:

Applications of Swarm Robots:

  • The Rescue operation:

It is one of the most important applications of Swarm Robots. A team of robots can be taken to the rescue spots that are almost unreachable for human beings. Well, this indeed is the first ladder of success and one of the most important milestones of swarm robots. Wait, it is not over yet, these smart robots can not only reach that difficult rescue places, but they can also detect the presence of life there. Yes, you read correctly, they can detect the presence of life in those places, and the human rescue team can get a clear idea about the total number of people that are in danger. This is made possible using the infrared sensors which are mounted on these robots.

It is really amazing that a simple technology liked infrared which even most of us use in our normal lives through our very favourite gadgets including a smartphone for normal purposes can be used to detect and save lives, well it is only the advancing technology which makes all these miracles possible. One more factor which makes a swarm robot eligible for these types of rescue operations is its simple and small design. Mining is one of the most common examples of such rescue operations, and these swarm robots act as a boon in all such situations.

  • Aeriel vehicles:

A large number of aerial vehicles can also be operated by GNSS or global navigation satellite system, just like a GPS system in outdoor places but again can be made available indoor with the help of WiFi. an example of one such system is the Shooting star, a kind of quad-copter made by Intel. Styrofoam plastics are used to make it and they also come geared with built-in LEDs. One computer and an operator can monitor a huge number of such shooting stars.
Not only this, the built-in LEDs can be used to make more than 4 million combinations of colour, and the microcontroller systems having programming algorithms manage the choreography and the path of flights of the bots. These are none other than drone displays, which are multiple lighted drones and are used for an aerial show at night.

  • Military:

This is another very important field of application of Swarm robots. Swarm robots are very useful in a number of military operations, and you might be surprised to know that some advanced countries are already using swarm robots in their military.
For example, the US Army is already using this technology detecting and destroying any type of unmanned vehicles. European countries are also using it in various defence mechanisms. No doubt it is very important in military operations, just imagine if any unmanned or unknown vehicle enters any country, it could be an act of some terrorist group.

The very particular vehicle might be equipped with fatal weapons like a bomb or any other weapon and can even result in mass killings, and this is not any mind-made story of mine, as incidents like this have happened before. So, swarm robots are just like a boon here, as they can easily identify these types of targets which are then torn apart by the military.

Even India is all set to adopt the Swarm robot technology very soon in its military operations and believe me it will be a revolutionary step. Many other countries are also all set to adopt these beautiful swarm robots in their militaries, this simply shows the popularity and the usefulness of these small beasts. 

  • Uses in diverse fields:

Besides all these, swarm robots are also useful in a number of other applications. NASA is also not left, even the great NASA is using the swarm robot technology for planetary mapping and different space-related operations.

The medical field is also not left unexplored, this little yet great technology has also mauled it. This technology has been used in controlling cancer tumours in the body and study and researches are going on to understand other uses of this technology in the medical field. Next in the list is agriculture, this technology is also used in agriculture to find out various wild food resources.

Thus, we have learnt about the various applications of swarm robots technology. I am pretty much sure as of now you must be surprised about all the awesome tasks which these small robots perform, and how they have covered almost every field whether it is military, or medical, or agriculture, or aerial vehicles, or rescue operations, and so on. And all of us can agree that all these applications are very useful and are directly or indirectly only for our well-being.

CONCLUSION:

We can conclude by saying that we should be thankful to the evergreen and ever-expanding technology for giving us these small friends who make our lives easy and comfortable and I guess all of you might agree with me in this regard.

Kawaljeet Singh
Btech in Electronics and Communications Eng. & apart from that a person who enjoys the very present moment and learns from every small and big thing, plus a technical geek...

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