Trying to bring together two of my classes this term, ‘Ambient Technology’ and ‘ Algebraic Arts’ to work on a single project that can fully explore what we are doing in each class. In the Ambient Technology course, we are using Lego Mindstorms to explore the design possiblities in modern robotic ‘toys’. Algebraic Arts on the other hand is meant to utilize mathematical properties and tools for the sake of art creation. I found that the two come together nicely in the area of robotic navigation.
Not surprisingly, innovation in this area is being led by youth, such as the Boulette Robotics Group, whom have a large number of projects and resources related to the area. The Honeybee and Robot Navigation project for example (from which the diagram above has been linked) explores the problem of designing robots that can ‘find their way’ by studying how honeybees use behaviours to communicate navigation information.
The approach of researching natural systems for technological innovation is not new, and I will surley be able to gather more references as the project unfolds.