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1,024 Robots Form Shapes: Art of the Swarm

by Lambert Varias
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We’ve seen dozens of small robots create structures and light shows. Harvard University’s Self-organizing Systems Research Group recently upped the ante with a swarm made of 1,024 robots called Kilobots. According to New Scientist, which shared a video of the collective, this is the world’s largest robotic swarm. And they didn’t need a single overlord.

kilobots-by-harvard-university-self-organizing-systemszoom in

The Self-organizing Systems Research Group created the Kilobots to “investigate algorithms for robust collective behavior, such as collective transport, human-swarm interaction, and shape self-assembly, as well as new theory that links individual robot capabilities to acheivable swarm behaviors.”

The video below shows Kilobots autonomously forming shapes, organizing from four base robots outward, layer by layer until the shape is formed. The robots are as slow as they are numerous though, practically taking half a day to form a single shape.

It looks like robots could wipe out humanity by boring us to death. You can buy Kilobots from K-Team or use the research group’s documentation to create your own.

[via New Scientist]

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