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the period January 2002-November 2004, I worked on the EU-funded HYDRA project,
developing decentralised controllers for groups of underwater
robots. The project was a collaboration between the
Universities of Edinburgh
(led by John
(led by Rolf
Pfeifer) and Southern
Denmark (led by Henrik
Lund), together with a commercial partner, Lego.
During the course of the project, the following people were involved in the HYDRA project in Edinburgh:
The group in Denmark developed terrestrial modules called ATRONs, which, in contrast to the HYDRONS, could physically connect to each other in various ways. An article on the ATRONs appeared in New Scientist, and they were also mentioned in an article in Wired.
I developed a genetic regulatory network (GRN) inspired controller for the HYDRONs (described here). Later on I worked with Pete Ottery to combine the GRN controller with his Cellular Adhesion Molecule (CAM) system, so that the GRN is controlling the expression of CAMs on the surface of each robot. The combined controller is described here and here.
An image of the final version of the HYDRON hardware, containing all mechanical and electronic systems, including optical communications
Document last updated: Tim Taylor, Monday, 30 April 2007