I would say the best example of this in the insect world are ants. They have a clear destination. They use collision avoidance. And they often have a predefined path--prepared by the dragging thoraxes of the "lead ant."
Impressive, for something with just a compass and altitude sensor. But isn't the Rumba vacuum cleaner already doing something like this? Granted the Rumba doesn't have a 'destination' to speak of but relies on bumping into surfaces to re-orient itself.
So, just give it a compass heading, and presumably some sort of altitude range and destination coordinates(?), and it will muddle its way through without collision avoidance system complexities.
Imagine applying such a scheme to self-driving? The "muddle through" approach. It would take a lot of trial and error to find the correct path, and you'd have cars that look more like bumper cars, but hey.
Not sure if insects, say flies, truly behave this way, though. Flies will bump into windows, until they finally find a way out to the light, but I always thought that's because they don't know about transparent glass?
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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