I Have Seen The Future, And It Has Swarmanoids


Imagine that you want a book that is located on a shelf several rooms over, but you do not want to get out of your chair. Short of developing telekenesis on the spot, there’s little you can do other than get up and fetch the book yourself – that is, unless you have an army of Swarmanoids to do your bidding.

This robotic swarm is the pet project of [Dr. Marco Dorigo] from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and is impressive to say the least . As the Mission: Impossible-esque video plays out, you see several different robots working in concert, flying, climbing, and driving around to fetch a book from a shelf. The robots have no information regarding their surroundings, forcing them to learn and “speak” to one another in order to reach their goal once the target has been located.

It really is amazing to watch these robots work together, but don’t take our word for it. Check out the Swarmanoids in action below.

[via Geek.com]


20 thoughts on “I Have Seen The Future, And It Has Swarmanoids

  1. I’d love to see a dozen of these on an ‘exoplanetary’ mission, that would be quite interesting.

    I really liked the interlock mechanism, it seemed simple, yet quite ideal for the task at hand. I wonder what they have come up with for outdoor environments where the eyebots and handbots cannot attach to the ceiling?

  2. Damn, where’s my jaw?…
    Excellent quality build, must be the coolest swarmbot system I’ve ever seen.
    Kinda like directly from a science-fiction book with all those ridiculous ideas like the magnetic gripping rope and stuff.
    Put me on the list for a swarm.

    P.S.: +1 for getting a Dragonball book.

  3. the bots need some speed improvements. faster engines perhaps, or a biomemetic approach. maybe instead of treads and tiny motors they could go with a hexapod approach, ive seen those things skuttle about…connection might be a bit more tricky…but workable.

    a swarm of hexapods…scary…replicators…

  4. Well once the hexapods connect up it would just be a centipede type robot, and you could model the leg movement after a sin wave or something. I bet it’s not as complicated as getting them to link up in general or getting the speed a task needs without the bot tripping over its self.

  5. These are pretty neat…I was really impressed with the whole idea, and I assumed the slow speeds were either due to economical parts or intentional delays…but the ceiling system ruined the who thing. The crawler bots clearly won’t work anywhere with dirt, gravel, or even deep shag carpet, and other than the crawler bots, none of these things will work anywhere on earth except for this guy’s lab where the ceiling is specially designed to hold these things. The climbing hand was the saddest part…I’m not even sure if it was climbing or just going through the motions as the motor pulled in the zip line. What a waste of a climbing hand!

    Obviously there is a lot of talent at work here, and I look forward to future ideas from them…but this whole system is fundamentally flawed in that it is all useless in the real world.

    Now, make a flying eye bot thing with a robotic arm attached and a battery life long enough that it does not need to clamp itself to the ceiling…that I would be impressed with.

  6. Why would you need ceiling grapples when you have quad-copters? Also why would you need quad-copters when you can grapple to the ceiling? This seems unnecessarily heterogeneous. Though it is quite satisfying to watch the cooperation involved.

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