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Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux in France have built tiny, mindless robots that only know how to go forward, but still seem to work together as a group to maneuver around obstacles.

Swarms of insects or populations of microbes can produce surprisingly coordinated phenomena, even though each individual operates with very simple rules. Hamid Kellay of the University of Bordeaux in France and his colleagues have demonstrated similar behavior in roach-like, battery-powered robots that skitter around randomly inside a corral. Previous researchers have also observed self-propelled swarmers in enclosed regions, but Kellay's team documented new forms of collective motion using movable corrals. The ultimate aim of this body of research is to produce small, simple robots that team up for a variety of tasks, such as self-assembly or exploration.

Science fiction legend Stanislaw Lem wrote a very early story about a simple robot swarm in his excellent 1954 novel The Invincible; see the quote for Nanomachine Swarm (Black Cloud).

Via Roach-like Robots Act Collectively.

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