EPFL engineers have designed Tribot robots, each of which is useless by itself, but together they are capable of completing most complex tasks.
Engineers say they were inspired by regular ants that have always been famous for their excellent self-organization skills with each ant capable of performing multiple functions. The same idea was implemented in Tribot robots.
A Tribot weights as little as 10 grams. It looks like a trefoil with springs and actuators fixed on each “leaf”. The devices can fold up and unfold using this ability to move around. Their joint operations are guided using wireless communication and infrared modules.
By interacting with one another, robots can move large objects, explore unfamiliar places venturing into tight areas inaccessible to larger device, build routes and negotiate obstacles. Complex tasks may claim the “lives” of a few Tribots, but they are simple and cheap to replace, therefore such a loss is not critical.
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