“Using the principles of swarm robotics, thousands of such devices, interacting and coordinating with one another using global-positioning and wireless technology, could quickly form “teams” and tackle a burgeoning surface spill with crack efficiency. Indeed, the researchers note that one of the problems SeaSwarm aims to overcome is the overwhelming amount of equipment and human coordination needed to combat a spill.”
The intent is all well and good, but anytime I hear the phrase swarm robotics, I think do not want.
If the movie Transformers taught me anything, it’s that even if the good robots partnered with fish-out-of-water teenagers to defeat the bad robots, it’d happen amid a firestorm of violence and destruction — and then they might still come back. Can robots help clean up the Gulf? Or is it exactly what they want us to think?