Autonomous learning applied to robotic swarm tactics

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program to develop Meta-Reinforcement Learning Innovation for Robust Swarm Tactics (MERLIN-RST). MERLIN applies a meta-reinforcement learning approach to discover and learn novel swarm tactics.

Through biology-inspired algorithms and deep machine learning, tactics in the OFFSET program are intended to help swarms achieve and adapt to mission objectives.

According to the company, human programmers cannot support the evolution of these tactics quickly or accurately enough due to numerous variants in adversary strategy and evolving environments that make manual development a challenge.

Under the MERLIN effort, researchers will augment OFFSET simulators to model swarm performance in a wide range of challenging urban environments as part of the OFFSET Program’s Fourth Swarm Sprint.