I-Swarm robot update


Back in October we reported on the I-Swarm robotics project. [Travis] sent us some more information. These tiny robots are programmed optically and are able to respond to programming commands via an infrared signal. Locomotion is facilitated with piezoelectric actuators and the power to the units provided through a solar cell. It is not clear that this project is still ongoing as the I-Swarm web page lists a project termination date of 6/31/2008. That being said, the video embedded after the break was posted two days ago showing swarm movement and detailing the programming, testing, and hardware specifics.

[via Hizook]


  1. Maybe it’s the terrible compression from youtube, but to me the first video looks like the little robot is being moved around by fishing string…

  2. Tomasito says:

    yeah, there is some kind of wire that comes from the robot.

  3. it looks like an antenna to me

  4. SQneo says:

    i think that wire was for power (you see 2 of them) since i dont see any type of solar cell there

  5. NidStyles says:

    Look’s a lot like Mark Tilden’s work with BEAM Robotic’s.

  6. F7 says:

    The lines in the first video are probably power, maybe a little communication too. It looks like two strands of really thin magnet wire, and they’re slack the whole time.

    I like the noise that the piezo actuators make. For a split second I thought the bot in the video was going to play “somewhere in my memory”. It’d be great to see a few dozen of these dancing/playing complex music.

  7. Ryan Leach says:

    Hmm seizure warning for the programming section i n the second video?

  8. accela says:

    people need to hire finger models for photos like this.

  9. kiro says:

    how to now the movement of this swarm robot..

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