Swarms of Robots Manage to Not Run Into Each Other

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re very, very pro-more-robots around here. As journalists, we don’t really think through the consequences of always wanting more robots, which (if left unchecked) can lead to an unfortunate case of having too many robots. This becomes particularly problematic when you have so many robots that they spend all of their time trying not to run into each other, and none of their time doing anything productive.

At Georgia Tech, Li Wang and professors Aaron D. Ames and Magnus Egerstedt have been developing ways to allow infinitely large teams of mobile robots to move around each other without colliding, and also without getting in each other’s way. This is very important for people like me, who have 37 Roombas at home, but also for anyone imagining a future where roads are packed with autonomous cars.

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