Termes project, is developing a swarm construction system where lots of little #robots team up to build structures that would be impossible for any one single little robot to put together. It's called "Termes" after our noble and endlessly destructive pals the #termites , who use teamwork to fabricate mounds of earth up to 30 feet high.
The TERMES robots are very simple, but are capable of working together to build relatively complex structures over time, using a simple set of rules that don't require any centralized command or control.
To recap, these robots are a #swarm
in the sense that there's a bunch of them all working on the same project, but on the other hand each acts independently, coordinating their work through their shared environment. So they're not like a colony where a robot queen (or other overseeing entity) directs them to do what they do; rather, each robot has an idea in its little head of what structure it's trying to build, and will drop its building block wherever it finds a space in need of one. It'll avoid other robots while doing this, but otherwise ignore them.
There are other advantages to a #decentralized
system like this: you can build the same structure with one robot or a million robots, it'll just take a little (or a lot) longer or shorter to do so. If a robot croaks, it doesn't matter, and you can add or remove robots as you see fit without messing up your build plans.http://vimeo.com/86520776
Read more: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6172/754.abstract #ScienceSunday #ScienceEveryday