AI News, Rough terrain? No problem for beaver-inspired autonomous robot

Rough terrain? No problem for beaver-inspired autonomous robot

To help these machines overcome uneven terrain and other obstacles, University at Buffalo researchers have turned to beavers, termites and other animals that build structures in response to simple environmental cues, as opposed to following predetermined plans.

It's all about math While the project involves animals and robots, its main focus is math: specifically, developing new algorithms -- the sets of rules that self-governing machines need to make sense of their environment and solve problems.

To address the issue, he is studying stigmergy, a biological phenomenon that has been used to explain everything from the behavior of termites and beavers to the popularity of Wikipedia.

Testing the autonomous rover Using off-the-shelf components, Napp and his students outfitted a mini-rover vehicle with a camera, custom software and a robotic arm to lift and deposit objects.

They then created uneven terrain -- randomly placed rocks, bricks and broken bits of concrete -- to simulate an environment after a disaster such as a tornado or earthquake.

In 10 tests, the robot moved anywhere from 33 to 170 bags, each time creating a ramp which allowed it reach its target location.

The Choice is Ours (2016) Official Full Version

Intro: 0:00 Part 1 6:16 Part 2 23:28 Part 3 47:03 Part 4 1:19:09 Produced/Directed by Roxanne Meadows and Joel Holt Script ..