Autonomous SWARM At Large


SWARM has been showing up at a number of places. Until now, the mysterious spheres have been under human control. However, the SWARM has taken the first steps to autonomous control. The SWARM is a kinetic art project consisting of several large self-propelled metallic spheres that interact with each other and their environment. Each orb in the swarm is fitted out with a processor, GPS, accelerometers, and Zigbee wireless communications. The entire project is open source. Slated to appear at the 2008 Burning Man festival, the orbs will use their GPS to wander within a specified area, keeping themselves “in bounds”.


Here’s the plot of one orb exploring a soccer field. Burning Man attendees will most likely see the whole SWARM in full autonomous operation.

9 thoughts on “Autonomous SWARM At Large




  1. “It has no collision detection. At Burning Man if a Hippy walks in front of it, it’s going to run over the Hippy.”

    Also neat how it’s not Autonomous per-se, but it runs off of a ‘mothernode’ as in true swarm intelligence.

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