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Swarm Engineering Across Scales: From Robots To Nanomedicine

YOW! 2019 Melbourne

Birds do it, bees do it. Even ants and fish in the sea do it. When certain individuals group together, they create a “swarm intelligence”— a collective brain capable of solving complex problems which would be insurmountable for an isolated individual. In the world of artificial intelligence, swarm engineering allows us to make robots that work in large numbers (under 1000), and tiny sizes (under 1 cm). Swarm strategies are either inspired from nature (ant colonies, fish shoals, bird flocks, cellular systems) or are automatically discovered using machine learning and crowdsourcing. Demonstrated applications range from the deployment of swarms of flying robots to create outdoor communication networks, or the use of 1000 coin-sized robots to form structures and explore the environment, to the design of nanoparticles for cancer treatment.

Sabine Hauert

President

Robohub

United Kingdom

Sabine Hauert is Assistant Professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her research focusses in designing swarms that work in large numbers (>1000), and at small scales (<1 cm). Before joining the University of Bristol, Sabine engineered swarms of nanoparticles for cancer treatment at MIT, and deployed swarms of flying robots at EPFL. Sabine is also President and Co-founder of Robohub.org, a non-profit dedicated to connecting the robotics community to the world. As an expert in science communication with 10 years of experience, Sabine is often invited to discuss the future of robotics and AI, including in the journal Nature, at the European Parliament, and at the Royal Society. Her work has been featured in mainstream media including BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, TEDx, WIRED, and New Scientist.