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The Future of Robotics is Swarms: Why a thousand robots are better than one

7 March,2014

Professor James McLurkin, Professor, Department of Computer Science at Rice University, USA and a robotics expert visited to India on an invitation from the American Center, Kolkata in the recent past. His research group has one of the largest collections of robots in the world, with over 200 different robots at last count.  He had an interactive session with a gathering of around 200 students at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum on March 7, 2014 on ‘The Future of Robotics is Swarms: Why a thousand robots are better than one’.

His lecture focused on developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, which is software that produces complex group behaviors from the interactions of many simple individuals.  Interestingly, he explained that these ideas are not new: ants, bees, wasps, and termites have be running this type of software for 120 million years !!!.  He also discussed the new r-one robots, he is researching currently, which are an advanced open-source platform to support “Robots for Everyone” movement. Prof. Mc Lurkin demonstrated few of his robots during his interaction with the students.

Students and teachers from Modern High School for Girls, Apeejay School (Park St), Apeejay School (Saltlake), The Future Foundation School, Purbanchal Vidya Mandir, Delhi Public School (Newtown), Artificial Intelligence Lab (JU), Birla High School etc. and many individuals from all walks of life participated.