Robots are first of all associated with high-tech reality. The history of robots is quite long, and it is believed that the first draft of a machine, which is capable to replace a person, belongs to Leonardo da Vinci. A draft of a robot that could sit up, sit down, move his arms and twisting his head was found among his paperwork. However, it’s still unknown whether that idea was implemented or not. Today in our everyday life people use a lot of robots for various purposes, from a robot-vacuum cleaner to a robot -painter. Progress never stops.
For example, the scientists of Harvard University have invented kilobots- tiny “gregarious” robots. To tell the truth, a single specimen doesn’t make us believe in the power of progress, and one can say, he has already seen something like that.
But let’s have a closer look at these machines. The robot is less than 1/10 foot diameter, it has several legs with vibro motors, that allow it to crawl on the plane and revolve on its axis. The intelligence is not that impressive though: the robot has the processor at 8 MHz and 35 Kbytes of memory.
Wretchedness, isn’t it? Not at all! Like bees and ants these robots can achieve brilliant results only by working together, and in this way they are interesting to developers.
These kilobots have group memory, and it’s possible to download there some information and necessary programs through the infrared port. The given task is distributed among the members of the group and then each robot works independently. While working they exchange information using the same infrared waves to keep distance and not to push and disturb each other.
Nowadays there are not that many programs for these robots. Kilobots are able to find a particular member of their group, to march after the leader and to disperse through the territory. But this is just the beginning!
So, the question is: why the whole world, and now you, are excited about these kilobots? There are at least three reasons. First of all, the robots can be produced on a mass scale, as the cost of each one is $ 14, which is really cheap. The second reason is that robots can recharge themselves: when the battery is low, a little machine runs up to the charging point to be fed with energy. The third thing is that kilobots perfection is primarily a question of software. Soon, when the scientists manage to mature this mechanical cluster, kilobots will be sent, for example, under the obstruction for victims search or to the cabbage fields for fighting with vermin. May be the robots will be used for sabotage and espionage, but these are just thoughts of the developers.
Anyway it is clear that such useful kilobots will occupy the right place in our life. I hope that in a couple of years these little robots will be able to pick up pistachios shells after us or find our keys.