Droplet Robots To The Rescue


Are you fascinated by the kind of movement that an insect colony works, where thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of ants (for example) work in unison for the greater good of the colony? Well, swarm robotics is a page from nature’s book, and there are plenty of potential applications for it, including intelligent sensor networks, which eventually might just result in a wide-ranging impact on different industries. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are working on prototype robots which measure roughly the size of a ping-pong ball, and they have dubbed them as “Droplets.”

The Droplets will come with RGB color and IR (infrared) sensing, where they get around by skittering courtesy of vibrating motors, and will “talk” to one another using analog/digital IR sensors. Individual droplets will hold an Atmel XMega 128-A3 microprocessor that can execute code. Right now, software is being worked on by the team at the University of Colorado Boulder so that they can test their algorithms on thousands of robots under a simulation. Hopefully they get something practical up and running soon – we cannot wait!

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