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Patent for Personality Sharing Among Drones in a Swarm

Personality sharing among drone swarm
Personality sharing among drone swarm. Application US20180217593A1 Thomas D. Erickson International Business Machines Corporation Filing 2017-01-27 • Publication 2018-08-02

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Patent for Personality Sharing Among Drones in a Swarm

Inventors Thomas D. Erickson, Kala K. Fleming, Clifford A. Pickover, Komminist Weldemariam are working on a patent for International Business Machines (IBM) to develop personality sharing among drones in a drone swarm.

The idea involves a drone identifying situational context based on signals from a sensor and selecting an action in response to the situational context, based on a personality of the drone. The drone then communicates its personality to other drones within a swarm of drones, it forms a part of.

Over several decades up until now robots have been developed to interact with humans either in response to human commands, or proactively. Robot behaviour can be categorized into a robot “personality” that defines how the robot will react to particular commands or other stimuli. For example, a robot can be provided with a character trait module that stores character traits. A robot state management module can generate different states of the robot corresponding to the different kinds of external input information according to different character traits of the robot.

On similar lines this invention and the related research will result in a computer program product for controlling a drone in a swarm of drones. Drones can be termed as a type of flying robot that operate increasingly autonomously. Relatively inexpensive drones have been programmed to operate in autonomous groups or “swarms”—for example, with one or more drones as “leaders” and others as “followers.” The computer program product will comprise a computer readable storage medium that embodies program instructions executable by a drone to allow it to:

  • Identify situational context based on signals from at least one sensor;
  • select an action in response to the situational context, based on a personality of the drone that defines behaviour on the basis of at least one of the following -movement, noise level, speed, and response to spoken language; and
  • Communicate the personality of the drone to at least a second drone in the swarm.

The program instructions extend a step further by allowing the drone to modify its personality in response to the situational context while keeping in mind the personality of another drone in the swarm.

The situational context in this case includes identifying the recipient drone.  The program instructions are further executable where in the drone communicates its personality at a rate it selects based on the situational context and to modify its own personality in response to the situational context including and that of another drone in the swarm.

To make this communication feasible the project aims to develop a plurality of distinct software modules, each of which will embody a computer-readable storage medium. The distinct software modules will comprise a situation awareness module, a personality manager module, and an amelioration action coordinator module as well.

Read the patent application in full here.

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