Home > Lifestyle > Features
Wednesday August 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 1:24:01 PM
KiloBots, latest breakthrough in robotics, can self-assemble to solve problems.
Without any helping hand, more than 1,000 simple robots the size of votive candles can swarm themselves into complex shapes like a star or the letter K, US researchers said last Thursday. The project is the latest breakthrough in robotics from a team at Harvard University that has also created robots inspired by termites.
Called KiloBots, these 1,024 simple machines were designed to act like bees and ants, using vibration motors to glide across surfaces and infrared lights to communicate with each other.
“We are especially inspired by systems where individuals can self-assemble together to solve problems,” says Radhika Nagpal, professor of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
The project, described in the US journal Science, builds on past advances by including more robots. Previous researchers used dozens or hundreds. Because of the simple design, the robots can only communicate with others that are less than the distance of three robots away, but they need no intervention once they get their pre-programmed order.
Just what they may be used for someday is not known yet. But whether the robots act like a school of fish or an army of ants on tasks like environmental clean-up or disaster response, researchers say they believe the robots could one day be a boon to society.
“Biological collectives involve enormous numbers of cooperating entities – whether you think of cells or insects or animals – that together accomplish a single task that is a magnitude beyond the scale of any individual,” says lead author Michael Rubenstein, a research associate at Harvard SEAS and the Wyss Institute. – AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Science Technology, Science, robotics, flash mob robots, KiloBots, swarm, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Marsupial STD cure? Koala chlamydia gets a vaccine
How to tell real jade from the fake
Grammys turn mass wedding into gay marriage celebration
City slickers find joy in running an organic farm
More than a helping hand
Hotel prepares warm ambience and extensive buffet this season
Yuletide family feasts
No French fries for you! McDonald's faces potato famine
Tsunami miracle baby 10 years on
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
Sony: Europe holiday sales of PlayStation 4 'inventory challenged'
Umbrellas banned as Xi arrives in Macau
El Paso, a cultural mash-up of Texas and Mexico
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)