Thinking about insect swarms can make your skin crawl. But for some scientists, those thoughts inspired an idea for creating small robots that as a group can build a simple structure, with each bot working independently and without a blueprint.
Modeling the behavior of termites, a Harvard research team has assembled small robots and developed software that enables them to build something without supervision. Working with no central control, the robots instead are guided by simple rules as they interact with their environment, tools, and each other.
Ultimately, the goal is to have the bots swarming in places where it's dangerous or difficult for humans to work, like disaster zones or in outer space.
The Harvard team's theory and formulas were inspired by