Summer Holidays

We will be closed for the Summer Holidays from the 25th July 2022 to the 19th August 2022. We wish you a wonderful summer!

Khepera IV robots help to study multi-robot navigation and collective movements

In the newsletter of March 2022, we would like to highlight the research work of Baumann&Martinoli, 2021 published in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.robot.2021.103849). In this study, they leveraged Khepera IV robots and studied the design of tightly integrated allocation, control, and estimation algorithms enabling coordinated movements of a group of robots. They validated their algorithms through simulation and physical experiments, showing the design effectiveness of their modular framework based on functional elements. Furthermore, thanks to the developed modular framework, they explored the impact of localization and communication constraints on the collective movement performance of the multi-robot system. In conclusion, algorithm benchmarking is more operational when defining modularity based on functionality. Safely moving a group of robots following specific requirements (e.g. as a flock or formation) is one of the basic and yet essential component needed for multi-vehicle applications such as space coverage and exploration, search and rescue scenarios, and management of transportation systems. Investigating collective movements through Khepera IV mobile robots is one effective way to tackle hard multi-vehicle coordination challenges in the physical world.

Focus on the ARK system: increment in Kilobot robots abilities

At the beginning of this year, we would like to present you with the Augmented Reality for Kilobots (ARK) system. This system, published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters in July 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2017.2700059), was first developed at the University of Sheffield and later replicated in several laboratories across Europe. ARK enhances the capabilities of Kilobot robots as they are able to sense and modify a virtual environment in real-time based on their state and location. Hence, the ARK system allows running experiments with Kilobots equipped with virtual sensors and actuators. Furthermore, ARK simplifies operating large Kilobot swarms as it offers automation tools for house-keeping operations, such as automatic motor calibration, unique ID assignment, and positioning. The ARK system is composed of an overhead camera tracking system that follows the Kilobots’ state and location, an overhead emitter that communicates with the Kilobots via infrared signals, and a base control station that orchestrates the system and runs the simulation of the virtual environment. The great advantages of this system are that it is open-source, similarly to Kilobot robots it is inexpensive, it expands Kilobots’ functionalities and simplifies operating the robots. The ARK system has been successfully tested in large-scale experiments with up to 200 Kilobots collectively foraging in an augmented real environment (see Talamali et al., 2020; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11721-019-00176-9). We consider the ARK system as a low-cost solution to increase the basic sensors and actuators of the Kilobot robots, and to enable even more sophisticated research in swarm robotics.

Full motion video ARK system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0KvPzhOSDo

Full motion video Swarm intelligence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wqN9T6Y4VA

Less is more: kilobots local communication is key adapting to changing

In accordance with Dr Andreagiovanni Reina

It is our great pleasure to highlight the work of Talamali et al., 2021 published in Science Robotics last July 2021 (https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abf1416). They found controversial results on previous beliefs that more communication is better than less between swarm robots to find the best strategy, e.g. in food retrieving. However, with the help of fifty kilobots, they showed that in changing environment less local communication is better for the group strategy and, therefore, the group adapts better to their environment. Indeed, limiting the communication to the surrounding robots increases local information exchange and, thus, increases the adaptation to the local environment. This publication combined theory and application allowing to understand more about how animals swarms adapt their behaviour toward changing environments. This finding has broadened involvement in different fields of studies such as swarm robotics, biology, and social sciences. Furthermore, as kilobots used social interactions thanks to the voter model, this can be useful in collective behaviour in general, i.e. in animals and humans, as well as in ecosystems evolution. In conclusion, knowledge on local surroundings is what is needed to adapt properly to changing environments.

Full motion video: https://bcove.video/3zwyQpA

A new big boy in our team

IINEO+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer, our production department has been equipped with the latest model of a “Pick and Place” SMT machine by Europlacer. Infinitely configurable and very fast Iineo+ is one of the most efficient model on the market. Thanks to its cutting-edges technologies, our customers will be guaranteed a consistently high level of quality.
 
The Iineo+ machine is part of our investment policy to progressively replace our machines. K-Team will use a fleet of new machines to anticipate our needs for the years to come.

Christmas holidays

Merry Christmas from K-Team

We will be closed for Christmas holidays from the 23rd December 2019 to the 3rd January 2020. We wish you a merry Christmas and all the best for 2020.

The K-Team!

Your K-Team

Have a question, comment or want to know more? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us here or follow us on our Facebook page! K-Team

Brilliant robots need brilliant floor !

The Kilogrid is a smart floor for your Kilobots which upgrades the Kilobot possibilities. The Kilogrid gives you the possibility to interact directly with your Kilobots with the floor and its virtual elements. You can virtually add walls, grass to water, bee to catch or anything you can imagine!

DARS 2016, 13th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems

dars

We are official sponsor of DARS 2016 which will be held on the 6-9 November 2016 at the Natural History Museum in London, UK. Our distributor Rahal Technology Ltd will be present during the symposium and will be pleased to answer your questions about our products.

 

New Kilobot Firmware

kilobot

Starting from February 2016, the Kilobot will be delivered with the new improved firmware from Kilobotics.
More information are available in the Manuals/Download section.