One of the big challenges in Self Re-Configuring Modular Robotics is to handle the large number of robots that are involved. Controlling thousands of robots is hard, and doing so reliably and efficiently is even harder. Michael Rubenstein talks about building, managing and controlling 1024 robots, which is likely a record number by a wide margin. He talks about the many challenges the sheer number of robots leads to and how you can handle them. For instance: how do you turn 1024 robots on? You can't really flip 1024 switches, and even if you could adding a switch to each robot would be too expensive. He also talks about some interesting possibilities that using 1024 robots gives, like self-healing.
Michael Rubenstein is currently a postdoctoral fellow working on collective robotics and control in the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D from the University of Southern California with adviser Wei-Min Shen. His thesis topic was on self-assembling and self-healing algorithms for robotic collectives.
Thanks to Christina Israelsson as the on-location recording engineer.
This free podcast is from our Flexible Elements with Per Sjöborg series.