Scientists take inspiration
Inspired by insect swarms US scientists have developed mini-robots that combine to form hundreds independently on complex figures. For their unusual “flash mobs”, the scientists created exactly 1,024 robots the size of candles. This program them with the desired shapes, such as a K or a star, to which the Minis then form up together and unassisted.
model for their “Kilobots” were among other ants, which together form bridges, as the researchers report in their published by the journal “Science” study. With the help of vibration motors, the mini-machines move forward in thick wire legs and communicate with each other using infrared signals – that they succeed, however, so far only over a distance of up to three robot-lengths. Once set on course, do not give up, until the desired shape is achieved. Even the errors of individual members in this hour-long choreography are ironed out.
With the mini-robots, the researchers complex systems imitate, according to lead author Michael Rubenstein, where members can solve problems only together – like a colony of ants or a school of fish. My project builds on earlier developments, but they put a lot more robots than ever before.
A clear vision of the future use of their “Kilobots” have the researchers do not yet. But they believe the Minis could serve the society as a particularly determined and hardworking helpers -. Instance in civil protection or to clean up after environmental disasters
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