Swarm Robotics: Invasion of the Robot Ants

Even though the video is from last year, it’s worth a look. James McLurkin, assistant professor at Rice University in the department of computer science, shows some impressive robot dances.

Watch as a throng of tiny, self-organizing machines—flashing lights on, speakers playing vintage video game music—search, cluster, and disperse with a single command. We owe much of this groundbreaking technology—known as “swarm robotics”—to visionary engineer James McLurkin, named one of the country’s top five robot designers by Time magazine. His machines perform striking organizational and teamwork tasks in a method with origins in the behavior of ants and bees, and with real-world application and stakes: his swarm can clear minefields, execute complex missions on Mars, and search the aftermath of natural disasters for survivors. Learn more from McLurkin and witness his mechanical colony in action.

[read more] [via exponential times] [watch a self-organizing thousand kilobot robot swarm]