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Published on Jun 13, 2011
The video shows a simulation of lumiBots in time lapse, performed with the Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform (V-REP: http://www.coppeliarobotics.com ).
The lumiBots are small, autonomous robots that react to light. They can leave glowing traces which slowly fade away, so that older, darker trails are visible as well as newer, brighter ones. This way, generative images that consistently change are generated. They are appealing just for the glow effect, but also have a deeper meaning for the robots: They can follow the lines with their light sensors, and amplify them whilst preferring brighter (newer) and broader (more often used) trails. Mounted bump sensors let the lumiBots change direction in case of a collision. The lumiBots are courtesy of Mey Lean Kronemann. The lumiBot CAD model used in this simulation is courtesy of Philipp Urbanz. This simulation was realized based on the video on this page: http://meyleankronemann.de/lumibots.html
Following is V-REP's main functionality: distributed control (unlimited concurrently running threaded or non-threaded scripts directly attached to objects or models), dynamics (in V-REP the user can switch at any time from the Bullet Physics library to the Open Dynamics Engine, both are supported), inverse kinematics (any mechanism, closed, redundant, with nested loops, etc.), fast mesh-mesh interference checking, exact minimum mesh-mesh distance calculation (for any type of mesh, also concave, open, polygon soup, etc.), proximity sensors (exact minimum mesh distance calculation within a customizable detection volume), camera-like sensors (with a large amount of available filter components that can be combined to achieve image processing), elaborate graphing possibilities, holonomic path planning in 2-6 dimensions and non-holonomic path planning for car-like vehicles, unlimited number of custom user interfaces with integrated edit-mode, integrated shape edit modes (triangle, vertex and edge), surface cutting simulation, etc.