Ducks flock to robo-sheepdog trials Robot Books

Kits and Toys
 Robot Kits
 Stiquito Kit
 Robot Toys
 Solar Kits
 Robot Arms
 Basic Stamp Kits
 Lego MindStorms

 Beginners Books
 Hobby Robots
 Robot Sports
 Robot Minds
 Books for Kids
 Robots at Work
 Advanced Books
 Used Books

More Robotics
 Real Robots
 Robot Motors
 Remote Controls
 Robot Parts
 Robot Tools
 Robot Videos
 Robot News

Courtesy of New Scientist Magazine

By Mark Ward

In the next few weeks a team of researchers will make the first attempts to herd a flock of ducks--with a robot.

Researchers from the Silsoe Research Institute and Oxford University Computing Laboratory, have chosen ducks in the test because they react very like sheep, but move more slowly. This means that robots can keep up with them.

The three-year research project is not designed to produce a finished product. Instead, scientists are trying to discover if it is possible to create a robot that can quickly and competently herd a flock of ducks into a predefined position. The trials will take place in an indoor arena because the robot is not rugged enough to work outdoors.

The real robot will be successful because computer simulations of both robot and ducks have worked well, say researchers. "So far we have only used simulated animals and robots. We are now getting all the links sorted between the real and simulated robot," says Stephen Cameron, one of the research team from the computing laboratory, speaking at a conference on artificial life, in Brighton, last week.

In the simulations the ducks were made to flock realistically by using a few simple rules first discovered by computer graphics researcher Craig Reynolds, in 1987. With these rules Reynolds created a flock that flew together just like real birds.

"We're trying to produce a robot that reacts a little bit like a sheepdog," says Cameron.

Subscribe to New Scientist


Advertise your product on

Beginners Books  |  Hobby Robots  |  Robot Sports  |  Electronics  |  Mechanics  |  Robot Minds  |  Robot Fiction
Books for Kids  |  Robots at Work  |  Mars Robotics  |  Advanced Books  |  Recommended  |  Roboxers  |  Robot Kits
Solar Kits  |  Robot Arms   |  Robosapien  |  Basic Stamp  |  BioHazard  |  Robot Toys  |  Muscle Wires  |  Lego Mindstorms
Real Robots  |  Robot Motors  |  Robot Tools  |  Microcontrollers  |  Used Books  |  Robot Parts  |  Magazines  |  Holdem
Robot Videos  |  Robot News  |  RoboLinks  |  Contact