We’ve all seen how robots can actually simplify our lives in several different ways, and while some have shown the ability to work together none do it the way a new brand of kilobots do.
Of course we’ve showed you the two robots that actually work together to make a good hearty, German breakfast. While Rosie and James are something to behold when they are working together, they aren’t really helping mankind (except for the eminently lazy). There are also some tiny robots that can actually map the area of a burning building and will help firefighters find out where the best place to fight the fire might be.
The Kilobots are still a ways away from doing anything really useful there have been some really big advancements in the way they are able to interact with each other. Perhaps the best thing about these kilobots is that they are both easy to build (taking about five minutes a piece) and are incredibly cheap as well ($14). Right now, the robots on their own are able to “orbit” other robots as well as moving to the center of a large group. While still very basic, the robots can form groups as big as 29 different units, that can then “follow the leader” and even forage for food. The can also synchronize how their lights are blinking once they they have been around each other long enough.
The point of putting together these little robots is for the research that could come from being able to see how robots can work on their own, with the minimum amount of direction from their creators. These little robots could one day be the predecessor to robots that are sent into hazardous areas like a war zone or a toxic spill, where they will be able to carry out special jobs as a team, rather than having to have one person or a group of people controlling each individual robot.
The communication that is going on between these robots on a very basic level can lead to more advanced robots in the very near future imitating them.
Check out the video showing the Kilobots in action.