Bite-size Kilobots robots ready to swarm | Cutting Edge - CNET News
If you’ve ever dreamed of filming a science fiction movie where an army of robots takes over the world, Harvard University has just the toy prop for you.
Harvard said this week it has developed and licensed software technology for managing large numbers of mini robots, called Kilobots.
Despite what might be considered an alarming name, the “kil” in Kilobots refers to “thousands” (kilos), rather than what they were designed to do. The mini robots, which move on three stick legs, are the size of a quarter, cost about $15 in parts, and are made by Swiss manufacturer K-Team, which signed the licensing deal with Harvard.
Kilobots are equipped with a microprocessor and a transceiver that allows them to beam messages via infrared to neighbors. Engineers in Harvard’s Self-Organizing Systems Research Group developed a system, which includes software and an overhead infrared transmitter, to communicate with the diminutive bots en masse.