It Nears: 1,000 Little Swarmbots Learn To Work Together To Form Shapes

August 19, 2014


Jerks at Harvard have created 1,024 little robots that can work together to form shapes. For reference, that makes them infinitely less dysfunctional than my own department at work. We can barely hold a meeting without people trying to kill each other.

Each of the identical robots is given a picture of the required shape, and then they work together to make it happen.

It takes up to 12 hours, but then this is the biggest throng of robots ever built and studied in this way.

Inspired by biological examples, like cells forming organs or ants building bridges, the work could help develop self-assembling tools and structures.

"Each robot is identical and we give them all the exact same program," explained Dr Michael Rubenstein, the first author of the study, which is published in Science.

"The only thing they have to go on, to make decisions, is what their neighbours are doing."

Impressive work. If the only information I had to go on to make decisions was what my neighbor was doing it would be, "Alternate between watching daytime TV and masturbating." What he needs to do is get a job and buy some blinds.

Keep going for a couple more shots and a video of the little bastards in action.


Thanks to Muttley, Rev Dr Dom, yej, Bongo and Arrogant Tiger, who all just laced up their robot-stomping boots.

  • zin

    Now give them the ability to crawl over each other & make tsunamis. 180% more freaky.

  • AniZaeger

    Just wait until they are built at a nanoscopic level. Can you say T-1000?

  • dougfunnay

    "Tea one thousand"
    i dont get it

  • Gabriel Arturo Alonso

    Go watch Terminator 2

  • ODwanKenObi

    This must be how Gort from "The day the earth stood still" started out. Scary how life imitates sci-fi.

  • Forblat

    I hope they're working on making that algorithm more efficient, because jebus

  • DeathBotGamma

    I wonder what the swarm would feel like moving around my balls

  • Gabriel Arturo Alonso

    Have you tried ants? seem like the closest aproach.

  • dougfunnay

    and the vampires, plastic surgery, and deep psychological issue start in 3......2...... oh god theyve learned to drive suvs

blog comments powered by Disqus
Previous Post
Next Post