More goodness from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL in Switzerland: 10 Zagi-style UAVs autonomous flocking at the same time. From the write-up:
"Swarm Algorithms Designing swarm controllers is typically challenging because no obvious relationship exists between the individual robot behaviors and the emergent behavior of the entire swarm. For this reason, we turn to biology for inspiration. In a first approach, artificial evolution is used for its potential to automatically discover simple and unthought-of robot controllers. Good evolved controllers are then reverse-engineered so as to capture the simple and efficient solutions found through evolution in hand-designed controllers that are easy to understand and can be modeled. Resulting controllers can therefore be adapted to a variety of scenarios in a predictable manner. Furthermore, they can be extended to accommodate entirely new applications. Reverse-engineered controllers demonstrate a variety of behaviors such as exploration, synchronization, area coverage and communication relay. In a second approach, inspiration is taken from ants that can optimally deploy to search for and maintain pheromone paths leading to food sources in nature. This is analogous to the deployment and maintenance of communication pathways between rescuers using the SMAVNET."