Written by Francesca Malenky
MAST (Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology), an Army   research cooperative staffed by Georgia Tech, UPenn, CalTech and NASA, strives   to create technology for the purpose of gathering data and information in  situations that would be dangerous for humans to enter.

Recently, this initiative has developed a group of self-guiding robots (created by the Georgia Tech team) which interact with each other using inertial sensors. They guide themselves using a camera and laser scanner. In order to interact with each other, the robots use a technique called SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) where they can keep track of their own movements to determine their location instead of relying on GPS. The robots work on a team without any kind of hierarchy. The more robots that there are on the team, the faster the data is accrued.  

The future of these team-oriented robots includes  airborne robots that would be able to see and locate specific buildings and  targets.



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