Robots teaches deciphering communication

Laurent Keller of the UNIL (University of Lausanne), and Steffen Wischmann and Dario Floreano of the EPFL performed a combined experiment on the development of an enhanced communication system by using the robots. This project can help in providing a superior communication within the animal territory. This research was supported by Swiss National Science Foundation and issued in the magazine called Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).

The robots were incorporated with several components like ring (provides the robots to produce luminous signals in various colors), camera (helps in recognizing the surroundings), and wheels (used for transportation). The performance of the robots is controlled with the help of a neural network and the genes. The work of these robots is to find out the source of the virtual food in a field. Most importantly, the food is detectable only when they are nearer to it.

The first experiment demonstrated that the robots are capable of sending information about the environment to their peers by using its communication system. Based on the population, the communication can be performed by two different ways. One is by using a simpler method to produce a single color for representing the location of the food, and other is by emitting two colors (one color indicates the food and the other shows the remaining area of the field).

This research also helped in identifying that a communication system does not modify quickly during generations. This experiment was demonstrated by using twenty homogenous robots. Half of the robots used the one-color communication system, and the others used the complex two-color communication system.

Then, the second experiment was demonstrated again with the robots. This time the groups of robots have been tackled with other population robots. Instead of using the one-color system, the robots went on with the complex method (two-color color communication system).

Overall, these experiments illustrate that different method of communication plans can be developed through generations in the same environment.

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