Squads vs swarms
Will large swarms of small robots dominate future military campaigns? We want to challenge that perception. There is a risk that the term swarm is being assumed and applied too generally to any group of autonomous robotic vehicles. Use of the word conjures images of insects, like locusts, following relatively simple, common patterns of behaviour. In science fiction, we see swarms of nanotechnology – insect-like robots – overwhelming defences.
Roke believes that military (and other) use of autonomous technology will be far more sophisticated. It will be squad-based.
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Squads will bring diverse autonomous robotic vehicles together to cooperate and meet complex goals. Roke is developing the algorithms, tools and software that enable us to build, task and manage squads. This paper discusses the benefits of squads over swarms and their potential future development. Biologically-inspired swarm behaviour will be just one of many types of autonomy that will be used. The future will be built on squads.
James, Rob and Ash explain more in this short video.
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For a deeper look at squads vs swarms, read our in-depth paper. We cover the following areas:
- Overcoming current technology limitations
- Architectural considerations
- Command & control
- Squad formation
- Applications for squads
- What Roke is doing in this area
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