Some eggheads, including Michael Rubenstein, Alejandro Cornejo, and Professor Radhika Nagpal of Harvard’s Self-Organizing Systems Research Group, have released this video illustrating the capabilities of a swarm of Kilobots. The tiny robots, about the size of a penny, cost about $14 each. They are given commands to form two-dimensional shapes and are able to do so on their own, with no human interaction. After the command is given, four robots start off the process. Then the others follow, using infrared sensors to dictate their x- and y-coordinates in the shape.
These 2D creations are fine and dandy and make for a decent parlor trick, but the hope is for the robots to next combine in three dimensions. What’s the deal, scientists? Are none of these nerds familiar with The Matrix or the Borg race from Star Trek? Robots coming together ever ends well for us humans. Thank God we have Neo on our side.