Researchers' new control system allows robot teams to collaborate more effectively than ever before.

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At first, this video may just look like a bunch of Roombas spinning around in a warehouse.

What it actually shows is a new system devised by CSAIL researchers that allows teams of robots to collaborate more effectively than ever before, even in uncertain environments.

At a conference this May, CSAIL researchers will present a new system that stitches existing control programs together to allow teams of robots ("multiagent systems") to collaborate in much more complex ways. The system factors in uncertainty — the odds, for instance, that a communication link will drop, or that a particular algorithm will inadvertently steer a robot into a dead end — and automatically plans around it.

For small collaborative tasks, the system can guarantee that its combination of programs is optimal — that it will yield the best possible results, given the uncertainty of the environment and the limitations of the programs themselves.

For more, read the full MIT News story: