TERMES: Termite Inspired Robots

termite inspired robots

Termites, if you think about it, are actually quite amazing. They are capable of building massive complex structures without direct leadership. The Wyss Institute at Harvard is attempting to create robots that can act in a similar way.

Typically if you have a robotic assembly line, if one robot goes down, the whole line shuts down. If it’s an assembly line of people, and one person calls in sick — they still manage, because people are adaptable. What the Wyss Institute is researching is  how to create robots that can work together, or by themselves, with one goal in mind — in this case, building a 3D structure.

In the following demonstration videos they show off their construction-bots assembling a building using basic building blocks. Each robot is completely independent — unaware of the other robots working the same task. It wouldn’t matter if you had one, or even 10 robots — the end result would be the same.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

10 thoughts on “TERMES: Termite Inspired Robots

  1. Nice wheels got to say i love them too, but could they elaborate a little the algorithm for the robots to take the pieces from a stairways stockpile or just a messy amont of them?

    It’s just that feeding method doesn’t seem so polite..

  2. Looking at the video couldn’t find anything to say whether they could communicate with each other if the need arose. I wonder if it wouldn’t be problematic if they couldn’t talk. E.g Let’s say they are building a structure and one part collapses, true they seemed designed to switch to a next procedure if the first task is complete….as if all of them are just the one robot. Now the problem arises when they all have to arrive at the blocked path, realise it’s blocked and then switch into the procedure for handling that situation. althought just seems like line following robots with little intelligence and a preset function….not sure if that is where the adaptability comes in….I like their movement (reminds me of bugs indeed)

  3. (Maybe) offtopic, because of a linguistic misunderstanding first I thought it is about a Thermite (termit) Inspired Robot – nevermind it is fun as it is. Actually it made me think…

  4. No one says Minecraft, I’m loosing hope. have you seen the robots that move flower pots? I see jew-mongous pixel art in our future. Think of the mine blocks as packets that can be moved independently from anywhere to anywhere, then made into anything. Elon Musk is putting in a highspead minecart system that can relay packets up and down the west coast, amazon can transfer packets with aerial transport (quadcopters). Does any one have an idea who can make the packet? I think the opportunity is to remove the transport of materials from the highways and make materials more versatile at the same time. Who here has made a Minecraft night bunker from dirt? That is a affective versatile packet! let me summarize, a packet can be a mid sized box. This box could be used as a building material, make all these boxes the same. Minecraft on a plater.

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