WATCH: 1024 robots swarm together


Yesterday we showed you the terrifying implications of robotics, and with that in mind, perhaps here’s a reason to get even more worried: The robots are getting organised.

The CBC has been reporting on an attempt by Harvard University to build robots that can work together to form shapes: Think like how fish can swim together in a school, or birds in a flock.

The researchers built what they call the Kilobot. Or more specifically, they built 1024 of them. Don’t worry, it isn’t “Kil” as in “Kill” (yet- but is a pun on the fact that there are 1024 little robots), but is a pun on kilobyte, as there 1024 bytes in a kilobyte.

Apparently infrared is used to transmit instructions to the robots – and they cost $14 to build each, but at the moment only work on very smooth surfaces. So it won’t be until they have developed Dalek-hover technology that they can finally take over the world.

The suggestion is that eventually we may send a swarm of them to Mars instead of a single Mars rover – so they can work together to navigate obstacles, and if one of them stops working, the rest will continue.


James O’Malley
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