RI Seminar: Sabine Hauert : Swarming nanobots for cancer applications

Sabine Hauert
Lecturer in Robotics, University of Bristol, UK

February 12, 2016

Nanoparticles for cancer applications are increasingly able to move, sense, and interact the body in a controlled fashion. The challenge is to discover how trillions of nanoparticles can work together to improve the detection and treatment of tumors. Towards this end, the field of swarm robotics offers tools and techniques to control large numbers of agents with limited capabilities. Our swarm strategies are designed in realistic simulators using bio-inspiration, machine learning and crowdsourcing (NanoDoc: http://nanodoc.org). Strategies are then translated to 1000 coin-sized robots, or to experiments under the microscope in tissue-on-a-chip devices. Lessons learned could also enable large-scale swarm deployments in outdoor applications.

Speaker Biography
I am a swarm engineer interested in designing large collective systems that self-organize. Swarm strategies are either inspired from nature (ant colonies and bird flocks) or are automatically designed in simulation using machine learning and crowdsourcing. Demonstrated applications include designing swarming nanoparticles for cancer treatment and deploying large aerial swarms for communication relay. In addition to engineering artificial swarm systems, I aim in the future to use automatic swarm design to understand natural self-organized systems such as those found in the brain or the immune system.

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