Swarm robotics is a concept that some feel could be applied to the IoT in order to drive scalable applications. Simply defined, swarm robotics is an area of robotics that focuses on coordinating large groups of fairly simple robots using local rules. Swarm-bots in IoT are inspired by the lives of common social insects such as bees and ants. They are emblematic of how the power of the community is leveraged to perform tasks outside the capabilities of the individual. The article below takes a long look at the principles behind swarm robotics, and how they could be transferrable to the IoT space.
In one of the opening scenes of a Black Mirror episode, a tiny bee drone pollinates a daisy, which basks in the bright glow of a sunny day. In a TV series known for its exploration of a dark and dystopian future, the scene is rare. It portrays a tech-enabled future where robotics are used to enhance lives, not harm them.
But later on, that bee is joined by thousands of more bees in a coordinated attack on a woman. It’s clear that the bees are working together as a single force, using real-time data to achieve a common goal.
This episode stands out among others because it covers a type of technology that’s largely unknown and unexplored by most mass media channels. It points to repercussions of a technology that most people have never heard of, but which is set to change everything we know about the Internet of Things: swarm robotics.
Swarm Robotics is an exciting field of practice inspired by the proliferation of the Internet of Things. Until recently, robotics technology had focused on creating advanced robots that worked alone — think of automated factory floors and friendly robotic baristas that are beginning to pop up in Silicon Valley cafes and various airports.