Michael Rubenstein, Alejandro Cornejo, Radhika Nagpal from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have published this amazing demonstration of robot self organization, self assembly and use in large scale robots swarms.
“When individuals swarm, they must somehow communicate to direct collective motion. Swarms of robots need to deal with outliers, such as robots that move more slowly than the rest. Rubensteinet al. created a large swarm of programmed robots that can form collaborations using only local information. The robots could communicate only with nearby members, within about three times their diameter. They were able to assemble into complex preprogrammed shapes. If the robots’ formation hit snags when they bumped into one another or because of an outlier, additional algorithms guided them to rectify their collective movements.”