The robot army that thinks for itself


By Celeste Biever James McLurkin has a novel party trick – he can coax 20 small autonomous wheeled robots to form herds, disperse again, wheel in neat circles, sing a harmonic rendition of the theme from Star Wars, and automatically recharge from a power station. McLurkin, a postgraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is trying to design robots that will work together and make collective decisions. If he succeeds, swarms of robots could one day be put to work in the home,
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