Forty one tiny robot submarines is a lot of tiny robot submarines. It’s so many, in fact, that controlling them individually doesn’t make sense, and the only way to go is to give them levels of swarm intelligence, so that each individual robot can take care of itself while the swarm as a whole completes an objective.
The CoCoRo (Collective Cognitive Robotics) Project, sponsored by the European Commission, has been working with a heterogeneous swarm of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) since 2011. Each of these submarines is capable of operating on its own, and small groups share data between themselves, and then the entire swarm makes decisions based on the collective data. The advantages here are the same as with any robot swarm: it’s versatile, adaptable, and very robust to failures of each individual robot.