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World's largest swarm of robots created

Posted on Sunday, 17 August, 2014 | Comment icon 4 comments

The Kilobots work together to form larger shapes. Image Credit: YouTube / Harvard
Roboticists have developed a vast swarm of robots that can work together to form two-dimensional shapes.
The miniature robotic army, which to some extent emulates the collective behavior of swarming insects, is the first step towards a future in which robots can work together to form larger and more complex structures and machines.

The robots, which move around on three thin legs, have limited capabilities alone but when combined with their fellows can accomplish far more ambitious goals.

"Itís really a big accomplishment," said Cornell University roboticist Hod Lipson. "Itís the first demonstration of this swarm robotic behavior at the scale of 1,000 physical robots."

Each individual robot uses infrared both to receive instructions from the programmer and to coordinate its efforts with its fellows. Each the size of a one pence piece, the tiny devices are based on the team's previously designed 'Kilobots' which cost around $14 each to build.

A recent demonstration of the technology, which can be watched below, saw 1,024 of the robots work together to form a giant letter 'K' (among other things) using their cooprative capabilities.

Source: Wired | Comments (4)

Tags: Robot, Swarm

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 17 August, 2014, 13:20
I envision the day when these become useful for biological control of pest plants. Imagine an army of these programed to identify a highly invasive species like Kudzu, armed with tiny pincers that would swarm over the vine and continually cut it off at the ground until it can no longer regenerate. The robots could return to a charging station every night at which time their programing is checked and updated to make sure they don't harm desirable species, and they can be relocated when an area is cleared. This would be extremely useful on invasive species where no safe biological control ha... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ashyne on 18 August, 2014, 7:50
I envision a use for these as nanobots that are able to automatically reconstruct damaged artificial bodies (like vehicles) or integrate with biology (like prosthetics)
Comment icon #3 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 18 August, 2014, 8:54
Yes and possibly replace organ donars.

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