Using a smart tablet and a red beam of light, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a system that allows people to control a fleet of robots with the swipe of a finger. A person taps the tablet to control where the beam of light appears on a floor. The swarm robots then roll toward the illumination, constantly communicating with each other and deciding how to evenly cover the lit area. When the person swipes the tablet to drag the light across the floor, the robots follow. If the operator puts two fingers in different locations on the tablet, the machines will split into teams and repeat the process.
The new Georgia Tech algorithm that fuels this system demonstrates the potential of easily controlling large teams of robots, which is relevant in manufacturing, agriculture and disaster areas.
Yaser Khalifa is a man with many years of experience as an electrical and computer engineer. After graduating from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, Yaser continued his education by pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Cardiff University. Upon graduation he leapt into the working world and has since worked with teams made up of people ranging from engineers working on super conductors to fellow professors at SUNY New Paltz. Yaser also has had over 40 papers published in a variety of educational publications. He has worked with such companies as General Electric as an electrical engineer consultant with their global research division as well as numerous others in different capacities. When not working you can find Yaser engaging in his other passions. He is an avid outdoors man and loves to mountain bike whenever possible. He both leads mountain biking tours as well as engages simply for pleasure. He was introduced to the sport by a friend at SUNY New Paltz and has since then volunteered as a biking guide with Minnewaska State Park, among others.