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Intelligent small world autonomous robots for micro-manipulation

Objective

In classical micro robotics, highly integrated and specialised robots have been developed in the past years which are able to perform micro manipulations controlled by a central high-level control system. On the other hand, technology is still far away from the first "artificial ant" which would integrate all capabilities of these simple, yet highly efficient swarm building insects. This has been the motivation of other research fields focusing on studying such swarm behaviour and transferring it to simulation or physical robot agents. Realisations of small robot groups of 10 to 20 robots are capable to mimic some aspects of such social insects, however, the employed robots are usually huge compared to their natural counterparts, and very limited in terms of perception, manipulation and co-operation capabilities.

The proposed project aims to take a leap forward in robotics research by combining experts in both fields, micro robotics and distributed multi agent systems. The project aims at technological advances to facilitate the mass-production of micro robots which can then be employed as a "real" swarm consisting of up to 1,000 robot clients. These clients will all be equipped with limited, pre-rational on-board intelligence. The swarm will consist of a huge number of heterogeneous robots, differing in the type of sensors, manipulators and computational power. Such a robot swarm is expected to perform a variety of applications, including micro assembly, biological, medical or cleaning tasks.

Building on a large expertise in micro robot technologies, the project addresses topics like polymer actuators, collective perception, using (instead of fighting) micro scaling effects, artificial and collective intelligence. All the competencies required are available within the consortium. The project results will enable humans to further understand the micro world, bridge the gap between micro and nano technologies and be the stepping-stone to a "real artificial ant".

Funding Scheme

IP - Integrated Project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAET KARLSRUHE (TH)
Address
Kaiserstrasse 12
76131 Karlsruhe
Germany

Participants (10)

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
Address
Ecublens
1015 Lausanne
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Muenchen
KARL-FRANZENS-UNIVERSITAET GRAZ
Austria
Address
Universitaetsplatz 3
8010 Graz
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
9, Heroon Polytechniou Str.
15773 Athens
SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO SANT'ANNA
Italy
Address
Piazza Martiri Della Liberta, 33
56127 Pisa
SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Howard Street
S1 1WB Sheffield
TO BE DEFINED
UNIVERSITAD DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
Gran Via Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona
UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART
Germany
Address
Keplerstrasse 7
70174 Stuttgart
UPPSALA UNIVERSITET
Sweden
Address

751 05 Uppsala