Throughout High School, I’ve built all sorts of robots, from robots made of PVC pipes to ones made of rubber, and robots powered by electricity as well as ones powered by air. The field of robotics is incredibly interesting to me and has driven me to experiment and research a variety of robotic concepts over the past six years.
One area of the subject that I have always dreamed of exploring is swarm robotics. This discipline is, at its core, based on nature. Bees, ants, humans, and many other animals use social organization and collaboration to complete tasks more effectively than they could alone. This behavior is increasingly being adapted for networks of many small, identical robots.
Mound-building termites are a great example of swarm behavior. Each individual worker termite is small, blind, relatively weak, and identical with very limited intelligence. Despite being so meager on their own, a swarm of termites is capable of building massively tall mounds, with intricate tunnels and thousands of chambers and rooms, all from dirt. A great feat achieved by many, small drones working together.
For my Senior Experience project, I want to capstone my work as a High School roboticist by exploring swarm robotics. I plan to lay the groundwork and build a platform for the development of robotic swarms. My final product will consist of a group of small, simple robots only capable of movement and wireless communication. I plan to coordinate every drone in the swarm over WiFi. Each drone will be able to communicate with the others and work towards a common goal.
Over the next five weeks, I will post weekly updates on this blog to show my progress, my failure, and my learning throughout this project. Stay tuned!