Bacterial trick keeps robots in sync | Science News

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Bacterial trick keeps robots in sync

Communicating environmental information allows a stumbling machine to rejoin its group

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10:50am, May 24, 2012

You don’t have to watch Dancing with the Stars to know that keeping in sync is tough — and it’s even tougher for a robot. A new approach keeps several robots in step, and even enables a dancing robot that loses its footing to seamlessly rejoin its synchronized peers.

One way to synchronize a group of robots is for each to communicate with one another about their positions, but distance between the robots can lead to time delays. And when many robots are involved, the complexity of this communication network grows. To skirt such problems, researchers from MIT have taken inspiration from bacteria that synchronize their behavior not by checking in with each ot

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