A self-organizing thousand-robot swarm | KurzweilAI

The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.

“Form a sea star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.”

The ‘K’ stands for Kilobots, the name given to these extremely simple robots, each just a few centimeters across, standing on three pin-like legs. Instead of one highly  complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors.

A self-organizing thousand-robot swarm | KurzweilAI

The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.

“Form a sea star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.”

The ‘K’ stands for Kilobots, the name given to these extremely simple robots, each just a few centimeters across, standing on three pin-like legs. Instead of one highly complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors.

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.

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.