The current design of a PALS autonomous vehicle relies upon mostly discrete components although employs some advanced integrated circuits too. The design philosophy was to try to avoid going down the onboard computer route.
This had worked to an extent but as the design evolves it is becoming ever more relevant to have a simple onboard computing unit. So, since the Raspberry Pi already forms a part of the overall ecosystem a Pi Zero is now being considered as that onboard unit. It could add local vision, for example, (with developments of some existing in house software) and simplify overall design to some extent (motor drivers etc).
Although this kind of goes against the grain – to be employing cheap, readily available components etc – it could prove to be a fruitful experiment? Some food for thought as Levels of Technology are considered and ever present design trade-offs are grappled with!
Strangely ironic that an attempt to divert a human made atrocity such as landmines, through artificial intelligence, is (as the title here suggests) inspired by observations of the natural world. Today observations were made of clusters of wild flowers, for instance. Right now insects are buzzing/floating around this environment. All superbly inspirational.
So, here is the PALS shell. This is an embryonic test environment. You may just about see the solar and wind power ‘base’ too.
There’s further elements to add to this set up as you may gather. It may not be the end test environment either. It may not be used at all. Still, one has to experiment. Furthermore, one has to be given the time (and space) to do so, far from the usual pressures of ‘modern life’. Understanding this is at the heart of true progress.
The website is slowly taking shape. You can find a video of a swarming simulation and a little text plus, at this time, just one photo! More will be added as time allows and/or efforts yield results.
Please be a little paitent as we develop the site…