Swarm Robots team up to conquer… a bookshelf

One step closer to the robot apocalypse

That’s right… those ‘bots are teaming up, and they are getting smarter. It’s the Swarmanoid, a collaborative family of robots that communicate with each other in order to achieve location specific tasks.

“…a swarm-bot is an artefact composed of a number of simpler, insect-like, robots (s-bots), built out of relatively cheap components, capable of self-assembling and self-organising to adapt to its environment.”

In a demonstration of what these little machines are currently capable of, the task was set to retrieve a book off a shelf. Sounds kind of straightforward, until you consider that the team of robots first had to find the bookshelf, communicate the location, and then assemble into units capable of accessing and retrieving the book.

Click through for a short film that won Swarmanoid the Best Video Award at the 2011 AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) conference.  It’s not quite James Cameron, but there is still plenty to get excited about for those robot enthusiasts out there.  

There is more to learn about these robots if you dig a little deeper. Much thought has gone in to the structure, electronics and behaviour of each module. It looks as though the team are taking advantage of all of the latest technologies, from the 3d printed chassis and components through to sensors, communication and navigation systems.

Working in collaboration to gather reading material is a risky game to play if you ask me – what happens if the robots lock onto some really juicy reading material, and discover all our secrets? Let’s hope they stick to comics for now…

Swarmanoid via Engadget

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