#video | Robots-particles are useless alone, but the team is capable of much

Most robots perform tasks alone, but researchers from the institutions of Massachusetts, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell introduced the so-called “robot particle” that can only act in a team. Each of the tiny robots is a round mechanism that is able to connect with like by means of magnets. Working together, they can form a “swarm”, which takes a variety of forms, depending on the task. For example, the robots can move to the light source and push the items without problems passing through any of the passages.


The only movement that can make a “particles” is to compress and decompress in diameter from 15 to 23 inches. They use the built-in motor, batteries and a microcontroller that is responsible for the frequency of movements. To feel light source, each robot is equipped with a light sensor, and to contact the operator device for making teams.

Single robot by itself is practically useless, but once they join the group — they can move and to move objects. The group can consist of an infinite number of devices and have any shape. For example, the accumulation may take an arcuate form and push the object, or lining up to pass through a narrow passage. Robots don’t rely on each other directly, so the broken one “particle” does not interfere with the movement and with the entire group.

The performance of a group of 24 robots have been proven in an experiment where they successfully moved the light source and pushed the subject. Computer simulations showed that the same efficiency has and a group of 10,000 robots — it continues to work, crap if 20% of the devices failed.

In the future, the researchers intend to simplify the design of robots and reduce their size. Thus they want to create a group of millions of “particles” that will be able to perform much complicated actions than now.

For what purposes you can use these robots? Your bold ideas write in the comments or in our Telegram chat.

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