The DiODe team has published their latest study on collective robotics in the prestigious journal Science Robotics. The study shows how information spreads in large robot populations. The research has brought to a counterintuitive finding: the less the robots were connected, the more the information spread within the population; Less was more. On the contrary, globally-connected robots were unable to discard outdated beliefs and adopt better available alternatives. This work lays the foundations for the design of large swarms of minimalistic robots that can operate hazardous and remote locations, such as nano-robots in blood vessels, or biodegradable robots for ocean cleaning.
The DiODe team are organising a conference on Collective Decision-Making to mark the close of the project. This will take place in Sheffield on May 20th and 21st, and features an extensive line-up of high-profile interdisciplinary speakers.
In this paper we study how decisions can be affected by varying frequencies and magnitudes of a perceptual stimulus in a simulated binary choice task. As a result we find that reaction time distributions may resemble the periodicity of the external stimulus. The article is fully open access.
This paper studies a model animal choosing between different food sources in an ongoing decision-making process. The decision-making circuit regulating the response is implemented via a generic neural hardware motif. Nonlinearities in the circuit influence the behaviour of the model animal. We find the unexpected result that inherent oscillations of neuronal activity may enhance decision-making performance.
The DiODe team are finalists for the inaugural Research Software Engineering Prize at the University of Sheffield, for their software MuMoT: Multiscale Modelling Tool. You can try the tool out for free online.
The paper Simulating Kilobots within ARGoS: models and experimental validation by Carlo Pinciroli, M. Salah Talamali, Andreagiovanni Reina, James Marshall, and Vito Trianni proposes a new plugin for the ARGoS simulator that allows users to simulate Kilobots in a fast and realistic way, to use the same code in simulation and on robots, and to simulate the ARK infrastructure along with the Kilobots.
Giovanni co-ordinated a team of University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University students who produced a new short film using our Kilobots. This was premiered at the Sheffield Robotics Showcase on June 26th, and is available to watch on the DiODe project You Tube channel…