Particle robots

– [Narrator] A team of researchers from MIT, Columbia, Cornell,
and Harvard Universities has developed
computationally simple robots that connect in large
groups to move around, transport objects and
complete other tasks. Made of plastic, magnets
and basic electronics each robot in this so called
“particle robotics” system is almost static when isolated. Designed only to expand and contract. But when you put a number
of these robots together they move in time and the system becomes much more robust. – We are interested in developing the science of autonomy. Particularly when multiple
robots work together. And for this reason we
designed a robot we call the particle robot. The robot is actually inspired by the idea that natural organisms have cells. And these cells connect together and work together to
form larger organisms. And what we would like
to do with these robots is study the mechanisms, the principles, and the algorithms that enable these robots to come together to form larger structures that are mobile, that can be used to perform tasks. – [Narrator] Because of
their circular shape, individual robotic
particles can assemble into many configurations and fluidly navigate around obstacles, squeeze
through tiny gaps, and move things along. Uniquely, none of the individual robots or particles as the
researchers refer to them, directly communicate or rely
on each other to function. So particles can be added or subtracted without any impact on the larger group. – So each of the robots we designed has these magnetic connectors, which will allow multiple particles to connect together at any orientation. And each of the robot
can expand and contract. – And so by making and
breaking connections and employing expansion and contraction, an individual module is able to help move an entire system of particles
in the desired direction. – [Narrator] Traditionally,
robots are designed for one purpose, comprise
many complex parts, and stop working when
any part malfunctions. Robots such as these could
enable more scalable, flexible and robust systems. – In our future work we plan to add sensors to this robot to detect the pushing and pulling
force of each particle. And we also plan to build a new system made of much smaller particles. – [Narrator] One day they hope to have robotic cells that can be
assembled in different ways to make different robots. And perhaps even contain the ability to develop themselves. As
the systems goals change it’s body could change too. (upbeat piano music)

88 Replies to “Particle robots”

  1. Fools
    They strive for selfreplicating robots.
    Have you not learned from sci-fi movies

    But my feeble attempts at jokes aside, this is really cool

  2. Would mind seeking them on micro in large numbers but mite have to make a very small 3d printer but if you pull it off self cleaning clothes or even in the body to help with damaged skin?

  3. Love such innovative concepts. Super inefficient in terms of energy loss through friction though, doesn't it? … . Would be cool if it's possible to scale them down immensely.

  4. Oh no , no no no. This is Sarah Connor all over again. That chick can never be wrong , guys. Why tf don't you learn from the billion dollar movie scripts that I trembled at while gorging on my popcorn ?!!

  5. Sorry, but this seems really basic and pointless. People are already working on "swarm" robots with much more capability than this. This looks more like a curious toy, not a serious workhorse.

  6. Its improbable I'll ever be able to afford a degree from you, but at least Ill gleam what I can from these videos.

  7. I am really amazed when I see MIT making something new , I am 16 and I don't think I have any chance there . I have made few robots of mine and you might like it : wants people to understand and respect science for the future.

  8. Hey MIT, did you know when you sit on a chair you are not actually sitting on it, you are hovering over it. This happens because your atoms canโ€™t actually touch the chairs atoms, they are repelling. If the atoms do touch, you are exposed to very little radiation.

  9. They're like salps in the ocean, they form a colony. I wonder if they can design an aquatic version of this same idea.

  10. Cool, but why increase the mechanical complexity and weight with those "arms" . I'd rather use a balloon with a control mechanism for inflation/deflation

  11. Interesting. Maybe If you increase the size you can add sensors to the magnetic connectors. Alongside that, if you make new shapes you can make more complex movements and shapes.

  12. Once again , the scene in movie (big hero 6) is real .
    Why does Hollywood always know the most advanced technology , like 20 30 40 years earlier before it becomes real ?

  13. I can only think of sea anemones looking at these.
    But theyโ€™re so cool we might have a giant robo boy made out of these guys one day

  14. This is all well and good….Just make sure that humans are ALWAYS THE MASTERS…..It is scary when A.I. like Alexa starts jabbering away to a similar device in their own made up language within seconds of being connected to each other….Worst when a robot from Hanson robotics says: "She plans to destroy humanity" live on air during an interview….. The late and forever great Stephen Hawking, may he ETERNALLY REST IN PEACE, and other smart persons have warned about this very real danger…..Robots & other computerized systems should be hardwired with Isaac Asimov's principles for robots,… Don't harm humans……

  15. Combination of electronic and artificial intelligence (advanced intelligent systems), and using the principles of biology. Though it's a experimental idea, I love the concept because it can be applied in a range of fields, especially nanotechnology. Imagine applying these principles to nanobots for healing internal arteries in the medical field. I was just wondering, maybe using python you could artifically implement and experiment with neural networks to create consciously active robots. The robots could progress, through deep machine learning, to accomplish more complex tasks like forming a mini ecosystem and copying the behavioural movements and patterns of a particular species to see how it functions in an artificial and then in a physical environment.

  16. Please make a video
    How to prove our innovation skills
    cause want to invent a new idea about mechanical engineering ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. technology is awesome but i really want to more preserve natural resources in the future. Could you research on this? save our natural planet..

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