Swarm intelligence will transform the way the world works
Ants swarms working together seamlessly
Swarming is the most basic of all social instincts, we group together and form a group, through time and familiarity we start to develop a common goal and start building civilisations. At the heart of it is still a desire to belong and communicate.
At the moment swarming technology is being developed on the internet through the use of algorhythms for search engines and server /storage infrastructure management. Computers, with their inherent high logic processing capabilities became the first machines that can be linked and engineered to work as clusters.
Factory robots are examples of simulated swarm intelligence – they are not truly interdependent, their swarming intelligence is limited to delaying their set of actions to accommodate a robot in a previous station
Factories are basically swarms of robots that have been engineered and programmed to work on a set of procedures and produce a complete product but they are not real swarming machines because they are static and cannot move.
Factory equipments that can move around the plant adn reconfigure themselves may be some time away but there is no doubt that they will improve efficiency tremendously.
In the near future, our vehicles should develop swarm intelligence. Once all our vehicles can talk to each other, there is really no need to drive. i mena you can if you want to but leaving it to the machines will simply improve fuel efficiency tremendously and make accidents a thing of the past.
A swarmn of simple robots escaping captive by cooperating
Imagine swarming buses, taxis and boats all working together and sharing information about traffic, passenger queues and then making decision about where they should all be and reorganising themselves with regards to routes and traffic.
In fact traffic congestions would be a thing of the past because the vehicles all know where each other is going so they may not need traffic lights at all and they can pace themselves to prevent stop-start traffic.
Have you see an ant traffic jam? no right? they just pace themselves and slow down slightly at narrow passes but they never stop.
With swarming technology, roads need not have divider lanes as the traffic can organise itself and divide the lanes as necessary, just as humans do on sidewalks. One way streets would be a thing of the past and contraflow as natural as walking.
I cannot wait for swarming technology to make it into our cars and take over whenever i can’t be bothered to drive.
OK this is not good news for drivers or cabbies but then again, they can become on-board supervisors and get paid better.
The DARPA challenge is pushing vehicular autonomy to the limits, once autonomous intelligence has developed fully, swarming technology will grow exponentially since machines will simply use their superior and persistent information processing abilities to incrementally learn new skills and social behaviors
Companies like Volvo are looking at the intelligence seriously while Nissan, Daimler and the US are looking at the detection and command and control technologies.
Once we figure out what information needs to be shared and how cars can build on the basic swarming technology or intelligence that we can impart on them, we have freed ourselves for higher pursuits… Manna… Heaven