TERMES, Tiny Robots Inspired by Termites

TERMES, Tiny Robots Inspired by Termites

Researchers from Harvard University have developed tiny robots, TERMES, which are capable of performing construction tasks like pyramids, castles, staircase and three dimensional structures.

The four-year project of researchers has led to development of decentralized robots without the boss after being inspired by the coordination and work of termites. They said that millions of termites unite together to build mounds of soil 500 times bigger without using any documented blueprints for the structures.

It has been reported that the robots works on the concept of stigmergy, which is a sort of communication through signals and is also followed by termites to guide each other for construction process. All the robots have been equipped with three motors and four sensors to sense for the presence of obstacles like bricks and other robots.

Since the robots works in decentralized way, one robot of the team will work in parallel with others and the failure of one or more robot also does not hamper work of other robots. The research published in the Journal Science states that the project is best example of scalable, distributed artificial intelligence.

Researchers have presented their project at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting. They believe that the robots have significant implications for performing construction tasks on sites where humans cannot approach like constructing habitats on Mars or laying sandbags ahead of a flood protection.

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