A new feedback system is being developed by a Indian-origin researcher that allows robots to operate with minimal supervision and can lead to making of a robot capable of learning or even become autonomous.
Developed by Dr. Jagannathan Sarangapani, makes use of current formation moving robots and introduces a fault-tolerant control design to improve the probability of completing a set task.
The new feedback system allows a "follower" robot to take over as the "leader" robot if the original leader has a system or mechanical failure. In a leader/follower formation, the lead robot is controlled through a nonholonomic system, meaning that the trajectory is set in advance, and the followers are tracing the same pattern that the leader takes by using sonar.
When a problem occurs and roles need to change to continue, the fault tolerant control system comes into use. It uses reinforcement learning and active critique, both inspired by behaviorist psychology to show how machines act in environments to maximize work rate, to help the new, unmanned robot to estimate its new course.
Without this, the follower wouldn't have a path to follow and the task would fail.
The innovative research can be applied to robotic security surveillance, mining and even aerial manoeuvring.