Brace yourselves, because an army of one-inch robots is heading your way!
The tiny robots called Zooids were recently showcased at the Association for Computing Machinery’s UIST conference. Each bot consists of a touch sensor, gyroscope, optical sensor that monitors its position, and a pair of wheels for mobility. That is all that goes into these little machines, but don’t judge them by their miniscule size. As you know, there is power in numbers.
These little helpers work together to accomplish intricate tasks, providing support for a variety of different jobs. They receive location instructions from a computer as it continually tracks their every move. When the Zooids obtain complicated tasks to complete, they deploy a “swarm user interface” technique. This means they delegate a large project among many small machines, resourcefully rationing the responsibility of each robot.
Zooids have an incredible range of capabilities. They can form an assortment of shapes and pictures, serving as energetic pixels in an interactive image. These robots are also great at locating your belongings and bringing them right to your side. Imagine you’re hard at work, at your desk, when you hear the buzz of a call or text message, but your smartphone is just out of reach. Well, the Zooids are at your service. They can retrieve your device fast and efficiently.
The video below demonstrates the swarming power of their cooperative efforts.