Swarm experiments

This page is to collect results from experiments we conduct towards developing robot swarms.  They may be simple experiments on a single component, such as testing IR LED’s to find the most suitable for communication, to complex experiments involving actual swarms.  As you explore swarm robotics, whether through simulation or physically, feel free to add a page here to capture what you tried and what you learned.

Brushbot Tests

1/11/10: Steve Davee brings a large collection of $2 closeout Radio Shack race cars that he has stripped of their car trappings and set free on a large 3′ by 6′ playing field.  Much fun had by all as the tiny brushbots mindlessly skittered around the board.  Awesome to watch!  Tim experiments a bit… results?  Don’t recall myself…

1/25/10: another public demo of the magic of $2 brushbots.  The idea is raised that by using two brushbots linked together side by side, and turning one or the other or both on, the motion of the combined bot could be controlled.

2/3/10: bored to tears with mindless drivel at work, I finally tear down the two cars I bought from Steve and start playing.  I cut a thin strip of plastic from the packaging, and shove it between the power switch leads and the case on the two brushbots; this loosely links them together side by side, with about an inch between them.  I turn one on, the other off — it spins in circles!  I turn the first off, the second on this time — it spins the other way.  Yay!  With both turned on, it goes surprisingly straight — straighter than either normally can do.  Cool.  I think we’re on to something here.

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