New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Leaderless Construction Systems

Team: 107

School: NexGen Academy

Area of Science: Robotics

Problem Definition:
Most construction efforts, throughout history, are created with a group of people that have to work together, each adding their own skills to the project. However, social insects are able to create much more massive structures in much shorter amounts of time.

With humans attempting to create structures in increasingly hostile environments for the future, the obvious solution is to use machines. However, these machines are currently much less efficient at creating these structures, and are nowhere near as advanced as even simple insects can manage.

Problem Solution:
Machines are ineffective because they either require individual programming for a group, or a variety of attachments in a single unit. The solution to this would be to create a large group of smaller simple robots. By decentralizing the construction work, this avoids having a single point of failure, allows for multiple areas to be constructed at the same time, and makes the construction far more versatile. By creating a modular construction system that cannot be affected by the damage of a single unit, one has a much greater ability to create buildings underground, underwater, and in extraterrestrial environments.

Progress to Date:
- We have found a way to have artificial gravity.
- We have a simple program of creatures that individually work together to compete for food.

Expected Results:
Our hopeful result will be a program that will be able to create a chosen structure in a randomly created environment via a group of similarly-programed agents.

1) Pambaguian, Laurent. "Building a Lunar Base with 3D Printing." ESA. European Space Agency. 31 Jan 2013. Web. 9 Aug 2014.

2) Werfel, Justin. “Collective Construction with Robot Swarms.” Havard. Harvard University. N.D. Web. 8 Dec 2014.

3) Lindsey, Q., Mellinger, D., Kumar, V.: Construction of cubic structures with quadrotor teams. In: Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems. Los Angeles, CA, USA (2011)

4) Klavins, E., Ghrist, R., Lipsky, D.: A grammatical approach to self-organizing robotic systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 51(6), 949–962 (2006)

5) Grushin, A., Reggia, J.A.: Automated design of distributed control rules for the self-assembly of prespecified artificial structures. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 56(4), 334–359 (2008)

Group Members:
Xavier Rivera, Kyle Morris, Jonathan Schlaegel and Jenna Soherr

Elizabeth Kallman and Allen Arsenault

Teacher Sponsor:
Michael Steele

Team Members:

  Jenna Soherr
  Kyle Morris
  Jonathan Schlaegel

Sponsoring Teacher: Michael Steele

Mail the entire Team

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