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Robotics Hardware

Kilobots — Cheap Swarm Robots Out of Harvard 121

An anonymous reader writes with news of a research project at Harvard into controlling large swarms of small robots. This article describes what they call Kilobots. (Which, for clarity's sake, have nothing to do with killing. Yet.) Quoting: "They're fairly simple little robots about the size of a quarter that can move around on vibrating legs, blink their lights, and communicate with each other. On an individual basis, this isn't particularly impressive, but Kilobots aren't designed to be used on an individual basis. Costing a mere $14 each and buildable in about five minutes, you don't just get yourself one single Kilobot. Or ten. Or a hundred. They're designed to swarm in the thousands."
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Kilobots — Cheap Swarm Robots Out of Harvard

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  • by 1 a bee (817783) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @05:18PM (#36487216)

    For you and I further down the food chain, it'll probably be a while. For researchers, though, it's arguably already useful. FTA:

    Generally people who want to experiment with large swarms have had to be content with computer simulations, which is fine, but at some point you have to try things out in the real world (or as close as you can get in a lab), and Kilobots can make that happen. .. at $14 each, a thousand robots is actually an achievable number with a modest grant, which is something that probably has not been possible before.

I've got a bad feeling about this.