Even Brainless Robots Can Show Swarm Behavior

Bristlebots are robots without sensors or brains that do things that robots without sensors or brains do. As it turns out, this is a lot more than you might expect, since researchers at Harvard have shown that if you stick enough of them in a small space, they self-organize into swarms.

A Bristlebot consists of nothing more than a toothbrush head (a custom 3D-printed one, in this case) hooked up to a pager vibrating motor and battery. You can build one yourself in five minutes for a couple bucks, making this one of the simplest and cheapest robots in existence. It’s a little bit surprising, then, that these little guys are good for some serious research. [Read More]