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Less Chat Can Help Robots Make Better Decisions

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A swarm of tabletop robots.

The findings disprove the widely accepted theory that more connections between robots always leads to more effective information exchange.

Credit: University of Sheffield (U.K.)

Robot swarms could cooperate more effectively if communication among members of the swarm were curtailed, according to research by an international team led by engineers at the U.K.'s University of Sheffield.

The research team analyzed how a swarm moved around and came to internal agreement on the best area to concentrate in and explore.

Each robot evaluated the environment individually, made its own decision, and informed the rest of the swarm of its opinion; each unit then chose a random assessment that had been broadcast by another in the swarm to update its opinion on the best location, eventually reaching a consensus.

The team found the swarm's environmental adaptation accelerated significantly when robots communicated only to other robots within a 10-centimeter range, rather than broadcasting to the entire group.

From University of Sheffield (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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