Symbiotic computation of bio-hybrid systems
Bees, fish and robots solve difficult network problems together
at the ARS ELECTRONICA FESTIVAL
POSTCITY Linz, Austria, September 6-10 2018
ASSISIbf is all about creating a new symbiosis among honeybees, zebrafish and robot swarms. The developed bio-hybrid system uses an unconventional approach to solve difficult network problems.
Networks are ubiquitous in our world today and are growing and complexifying at a global scale, from traffic and logistics to social networks and the “Internet of Things”. Optimal design of such networks is a difficult task, exploding in complexity with network size and connectivity. Thus, smart heuristics are a key technology — using randomized guessing as a form of provoked error as a core functionality. In ASSISIbf we aim for a radically different approach towards such network optimisation: We use “fuzzy” swarms of honeybees and fish, in association with autonomous robot swarms. These novel bio-hybrid “computational symbioses” efficiently search for optimal, or near-optimal, network configurations. With large populations of animals we hope that future bio-hybrid applications will be able to solve global scale network problems in shorter time than today’s computer algorithms, exploiting the parallelism of organismic swarm computation.