“A single ant or bee isn’t smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems”. Swarm Theory – National Geographic (2007)
What is Swarm Intelligence?
- Scholarpedia definition: “Swarm intelligence is the discipline that deals with natural and artificial systems composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization. In particular, the discipline focuses on the collective behaviors that result from the local interactions of the individuals with each other and with their environment. Examples of systems studied by swarm intelligence are colonies of ants and termites, schools of fish, flocks of birds, herds of land animals. Some human artifacts also fall into the domain of swarm intelligence, notably some multi-robot systems, and also certain computer programs that are written to tackle optimization and data analysis problems.
- In the following video, Stanford Professor Deborah Gordon provides a stunning explanation of the intriguing concept of swarm intelligence.
Swarmanoid: Artificial Swarm Intelligence
A short video presenting the results of the Swarmanoid project, a group of robots programmed to achieve book retrieval. “The main scientific objective of this research project is the design, implementation and control of a novel distributed robotic system. The system will be made up of heterogeneous, dynamically connected, small autonomous robots. Collectively, these robots will form what we call a swarmanoid. The swarmanoid that we intend to build will be comprised of numerous (about 60) autonomous robots of three types: eye-bots, hand-bots, and foot-bots.”