by December 5, 2007 0 comments

The Hyderabad-based Robotics Research Center (RRC) is probably the only one
in the country to have a deliberate focus on the two futuristic concepts in
robotics-SLAM and Swarm robotics. Besides these, the center is also doing
extensive research on hybrid legged wheeled vehicles, and bipedal robots. Headed
by Dr. K Madhava Krishna and Dr. Bipin Indurkhya, the center also organizes
‘Robotics in Education’ workshops targeted at the student community ranging from
school to engineering students. High school students are even encouraged and
aided to build mini
robots using recyclable inexpensive raw materials.

Explaining the research on SLAM, Prof. Madhava Krishna said, “SLAM stands for
Simultaneous localization and mapping. It is a technique used by robots to
create a map within an unknown environment and keeping track of their current
position at the same time. Though this might sound simple, coordination between
multiple sensors and receptors is the challenge here.”

Swarm robots

Swarm robotics, on the other hand is a new approach to the coordination of
multi-robot systems which consist a cluster of many but relatively simple
physical robots. The goal of this approach is to study the design of robots,
across two areas-physical movement and electronic controls, in order to make
them ‘work’ depending on your use and application. Emphasis is paid to how these
robots interact with each other. This behavioral aspect of robots is termed as
Swarm intelligence, and RRC is currently doing research on the future and
predictable behavior of multi-robot systems. Speaking about the advantages of
the Swarm system, Prof. Madhava said, “The biggest advantage here is
scalability. Local communication, which is achieved by wireless transmission
systems using radio frequency or infrared communication can be used to optimize

K Madhava Krishna
Professor, RRC Hyderabad

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