CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Josh Bongard featured in BBC article

Release Date: 08-18-2008

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Email: Dawn.Densmore@uvm.edu
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

Josh BongardDr. Josh Bongard of the Department of Computer Science in UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) was one of three scientists featured in a BBC article about swarming/smart robot technologies featured at the Artificial Life XI Conference held in Winchester, UK, August 5-8, 2008. The article, "Smart Future for Swarming Robots," proposes the use of swarms of robots, more adaptable and smarter than individual, self-contained ones.

Swarm ideas can also be used with bigger robots for bigger tasks. "One application we're looking at in the US is renewable energy technologies," Bongard explains in the article. "We're going to have to start building solar farms, wave farms, wind farms, all on a scale we're not used to—hundreds of square kilometers, far from population centres. Swarms could be ideal for that."

"I am extremely proud to see Dr. Bongard's ingenuity and creativity in robotics, artificial intelligence, and complex systems continue to be recognized," says CEMS Dean Domenico Grasso. "This work, and the work of so many of our talented faculty, showcases innovative ideas and technologies at the University of Vermont that could truly change the world."

Bongard received the prestigious and highly competitive 2007 New Faculty Fellowship $200,000 award from Microsoft Research for his robotics research with self-healing robots. Only five such awards are given nationwide. He has also received recognition from MIT as one of the world's top innovators under 35, as well as appointment to a National Academy of Engineering symposium to discuss 21st-century frontiers in research.

Bongard's areas of expertise are evolutionary robotics, evolutionary computation, and physical simulation. Funding will be used by Bongard in his efforts to create robots that can learn simple tasks and combine them into more sophisticated behaviors such as transporting objects and building simple structures.

For more information, contact Josh Bongard at josh.bongard@uvm.edu.

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