Swarm robotics studies creating communities of straightforward, autonomous robots that can work together and coordinate like natural swarms. They can organize themselves and function autonomously.
It’s difficult to design such a collection of robots. The costing aspect is very important in the design. Scientists and researchers are working to create low-cost, straightforward robots that can perform complex tasks thanks to swarm behavior and swarm intelligence.
Complicated algorithms are required to achieve desired swarm behaviors, and scalability, flexibility, and robustness must be taken into account. Swarm robotics research started in the late 1900s, and development work began in the early 2000s. Since simulators gave way to actual projects in the last few years, this field has undergone significant change, and there is still much research and development to be done in every area.
Swarm robotics has many uses in agriculture, medicine, astronomy danger zones, and industrial settings. This article will look at some possible future applications of swarm robots.
1. Nanorobots in medicine
One of the most exciting uses of swarm robotics is in nanotechnology. The most significant use of them is in medicine, among many others. Researchers are working to create nanorobot technologies that can eradicate numerous diseases. One of the main goals of science is to use these nanorobots to kill cancer. Nanorobots should be able to explore the human body and search for sick cells. The killing can be accomplished by directly drilling into the cells or by administering the robots’ medication. The Max Plank Institute has created nanorobots intending to use them to treat cancer.
Additionally, in 2018, they created nanorobots that can move through the eye. Such nano propellers could previously only move through fluids or models, not actual tissues. However, these recently created nanorobots can move through real tissues and deliver the necessary medication to the precise location in the human body where it is needed.
These concepts and creations represent revolutionary medical discoveries. However, there haven’t been any human trials to date. Numerous other diseases, such as HIV, for which there is currently no cure or effective treatment, can be treated with nanotechnology. A particular drug cannot cure HIV. Drugs are administered to patients that can lengthen their lives but not eradicate the virus. HIV particles can be eliminated using nanorobots. Nanorobots can be built with the ability to locate and destroy HIV particles, which are roughly 60 times smaller than red blood cells. But there are a lot of things to think about. Such nanorobots can be very expensive and difficult to design. To only target sick cells and not healthy ones and prevent any harm to the human body, they must also be precise and accurate.
2. Military and navy
Swarm robotics is already being used extensively by the US military. A few of these jobs and initiatives. However, these machines are primarily employed for tasks that are either impossible for humans to complete or extremely challenging. For instance, moving heavy items, getting rid of chemicals, or looking in places where people might not be able to. The use of robot swarms as armed forces may be the next step. That entails the swarm robot army taking the place of the human army. Such robot development has already started. DARPA is already developing robotic swarms that are armed to replace human soldiers.
Both the navy and the army can utilize such swarms. Robots can be used, for instance, to collect data underwater. These robots ought to be autonomous and able to communicate with other swarm members, allowing them to carry out tasks using the collective intelligence and behavior of the swarm. Examples of tasks include keeping an eye on things, looking for specific things, or simply visualizing the underwater world. The discovery of a reliable method for robot-to-robot communication in an aquatic environment will be a key component of this research. The cost element would be another problem. Scalability, flexibility, and robustness are only a few of the features that would be required to build such complex systems.
3. Replacing labor
Labor can be replaced by swarm robotics. That implies that robotic swarms may be used in places like shops, hotels, or industries in place of employing people. Robots are already being used in industrial swarm robotics projects to pack groceries and transport or sort goods. However, these robots must possess artificial intelligence (AI) to replace humans with automation. With the aid of robots, many other jobs could be eliminated or have their level of human assistance reduced. Robots can perform simple tasks as well as complicated ones, which lowers labor costs. Robotic swarms, for instance, can be employed to clean a factory or store, assist customers in carrying heavy items to their cars, help prepare food or drinks, or deliver food to tables in restaurants. Swarms of cost-effective and well-designed robots can accomplish such simple tasks.
4. Snake robots for many purposes
Robotic swarms can be an effective component of surveillance systems. Swarm robots can monitor locations that are uncharted, unsafe, or inaccessible to humans. For such tasks, a single robot is not an effective option. For instance, the area is too large to be serviced by a single robot for various reasons. Additionally, stationary robots are not the best option; to get a good view of the environment, the robots must be mobile. Robot snake swarms can be a very good option for this task. Snake robots can be employed for various tasks in manufacturing, industry, and other fields. One of the most crucial tasks for them is surveillance. Snake robots are autonomous machines that can enter areas inaccessible to people, such as a collapsed building or a radioactive environment, to search for survivors. They are incredibly flexible, can fit through tiny spaces, and even swim, thanks to their thin bodies and numerous joints. These robots can be used in rescue missions to increase the likelihood of success. They can be used as spy cameras for traditional open surgery, underwater surveillance, climbing mountains or tall buildings, and many other uses.
5. Robots in the space
Studies of our solar system date back hundreds to thousands of years. Even though humans have already visited the Moon, there is still much to learn about it and the rest of our solar system, which comprises numerous other planets, asteroids, and stars. It has been a mission for many years to explore Mars. For a very long time, NASA has wanted to send people to explore the planet, but no project specifies when that will happen. Chris Hadfield, a former commander of the International Space Station, claims that NASA could send people to Mars decades ago, just as it did with the Moon. However, it never happened because there was a high likelihood of dying on Mars. This may prompt us to design projects where only robots explore space or other planets. Robots already carry out most space exploration tasks during manned Moon missions. We can send no astronauts and have swarms of robots complete the mission. This would be a less expensive but also less dangerous task for people’s lives. Numerous astronauts have perished in space and been hurt during training, launch, and atmospheric re-entry. The Apollo 1 disaster, also known as the first disaster for NASA, occurred in 1967 and resulted in the death of the entire crew due to a fire in the cockpit.
Swarm robotics research and development could lead to revolutionary discoveries for space missions. Hundreds to thousands of cheaply made robotic swarms can be used to explore planets. These robots should be built to work together, detect various environmental gases on these planets, search for water and food sources, take pictures and videos, gather samples, and send this information back to Earth.