Inspired by termites' resilience and collective intelligence, a team of computer scientists and engineers has created an autonomous robotic construction crew. The system needs no supervisor, no eye in the sky, and no communication: just simple robots - any number of robots - that cooperate by modifying their environment.
A project to design a biologically inspired, swimming jellyfish robot has led scientists to the surprising discovery of common bending rules for the tips of wings, fins, flukes, mollusk feet, and other propulsors across a broad range of animal species.
The weakly electric black ghost knifefish of the Amazon basin has inspired Northwestern University's Malcolm MacIver to develop agile fish robots that could lead to a vast improvement in underwater vehicles used to study fragile coral reefs or repair damaged deep sea oil rigs.
Before long, robots will be giving us helpful advice, but we don't want them to be snippy about it. Research at Cornell and Carnegie Mellon universities suggests that if they sound a little less sure of themselves and throw in a few of the meaningless words humans are fond of, listeners will have a more positive response.
Robotic floats armed with revolutionary new sensors will be launched in the Indian Ocean, as part of a new India-Australia research partnership to find out what makes the world's third largest ocean tick - and how both nations can benefit from it.
An odd concept for anyone raised on the idea of robots as clunky metal machines or toys designed to make life easier or more fun, but a new EU-funded research project introduces the idea of robots as platforms to deliver smart, user-friendly robotic applications.
Researchers recently sent hundreds of ants to the orbiting International Space Station. By studying how the ants adjust their behavior to cope with near-zero gravity conditions, scientists could improve the algorithms autonomous robots follow to search disaster scenes for survivors.