Daily Bread for 5.25.12

Good morning.

It’s a mostly sunny day ahead in the Whippet City, with a high temperature of seventy-eight.

On this day in 1977, with Memorial Day approaching, Star Wars first hit theaters:

Google’s daily puzzle asks about how a watchdog was once distracted: “In Roman mythology, what pastry did Aeneas and Psyche use to distract a three-headed watchdog?”

So how do you keep a group of dancing robots in synchronization? It’s a Bacterial Trick [That] Keeps Robots in Sync:

You don’t have to watch Dancing with the Stars to know that keeping in sync is tough — and it’s even tougher for a robot. A new approach keeps several robots in step, and even enables a dancing robot that loses its footing to seamlessly rejoin its synchronized peers.

One way to synchronize a group of robots is for each to communicate with one another about their positions, but distance between the robots can lead to time delays. And when many robots are involved, the complexity of this communication network grows. To skirt such problems, researchers from MIT have taken inspiration from bacteria that synchronize their behavior not by checking in with each other, but by checking in with their environment….

Similarly, MIT’s Jean-Jacques Slotine and Patrick Bechon coordinated the behavior of eight dancing humanoid robots by having the bots send information to — and get information from — an external computer server. The work was posted May 14 on

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments