Termite-inspired robots build structures without central command

Simple guidelines keep machines hauling and placing bricks

By Meghan Rosen, 12:22 PM February 13, 2014

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Human construction crews, meet RoboTermites. Like the mound-building insects, these squat little robots can erect complicated structures without an instruction manual.

Using just a few preprogrammed rules, some traffic laws and a stack of foam bricks, the bots get busy building towers, pyramids and fortresslike walls, Harvard computer scientist Justin Werfel and colleagues report in the Feb. 14 Science.

One day, such robotic builders might be able to take on risky human jobs, such...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/termite-inspired-robots-build-structures-without-central-command