M-Blocks: Swarm of Self-Assembling Robots


Fri, Oct 4th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Kurzweil website brings to attention these swarms of self-assembling robots created by John Romanishin of MIT?s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The tiny little machines, called M-Blocks, have no visible external moving parts, yet can "magically climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, snap together into different shapes, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces."

Imagine hordes of swarming microbots that can self-assemble, like the “liquid steel” androids in the movie “Terminator II.”

Armies of these mobile cubes could temporarily repair bridges or buildings during emergencies. These cubes could assemble into different types of furniture or heavy equipment as needed. And they could swarm into environments hostile or inaccessible to humans, diagnose problems, and then reorganize themselves to provide solutions.

They could even be special-purpose cubes: containing cameras, or lights, or battery packs, or other equipment that the mobile cubes could transport.



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