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Robots plan for the future


Could robots one day help rescue teams in their efforts to save lives during a disaster?

That possibility is a step closer thanks to research led by Mauro Birattari and Lorenzo Garattoni from the IRIDIA laboratory at the Brussels School of Engineering, Université Libre de Bruxelles [ULB], which was published in Science Robotics this week.

A ULB release revealed the team ‘created a swarm of robots’ that had to problem solve by working together to complete a simple 3-step task to move to certain positions ‘without knowing the correct order in advance’; each robot helping the other get to the correct outcome.


Mauro Birattari tweeted: “In a robot swarm, the ability to sequence tasks can emerge from the interaction of reactive individual robots.”


The researchers believe the breakthrough could lead to robots helping out in a number of situations, such as exploring ‘hostile environments’ and supporting rescue teams.

So maybe people should stop worrying about them stealing jobs and get excited about how they will make the world a better and safer place.

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