Swarming Robot Ants

European researchers in the I-SWARM project are hard at work developing small, autonomous robots that can work together and communicate to perform different functions. They successfully built two types of robots: the I-SWARM, and the Jasmine robots. The I-SWARM robots are three millimeters in size, are powered by a solar cell, and move by vibration. The Jasmine robots are the size of two-Euro coins, have small wheels, and are powered by battery. These tiny robots have several advantages over their bulky predecessors, such as high redundancy, greater flexibility, and the ability to manage tough terrain. They could even be used to repair larger robots. They also come with distinct challenges. Because of their minuscule size, programming memory is necessarily limited, and the team had to come up with special algorithms to manage and control the machines. Though they haven’t been able to meet their goal of making a thousand of them, the researchers are hopeful and confident about their abilities to mass produce the robots cheaply.

[via io9]

5 thoughts on “Swarming Robot Ants

  1. This is kinda out of a science fiction novel why don’t we just put more rovers on mars. I don’t understand why we have to explore robotic swarms and tiny “robots” as well. You can see in the article there is a type of paper clip and these little robots. Why not empower university students with robotics contests in conjunction with nasa instead of mass producing tiny robots to act like ants, termites etc. I think you would have a greater effect on putting robots on mars that could multi task instead of relying on a “swarm” to accomplish a task… you can find videos on robot swarms on you tube. The concept is fairly new when we think of the robotic area as a whole people have been building robots for over 40 years the swarm technology is newer and not yet reliable.. watch the videos and read up on this you will see sometimes a robot in a swarm gets confused and just sits there forever,,,, er space junk!

    @omega it does look like a table with an ant farm lol

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