Robot researchers constantly use nature as a model for new robotic developments. Here is another example of this in these microbots.
In particular, the application to robotics has to do with the idea of swarm behaviors. Insects such as ants and termites tend to act as a unit. Even though they are small, when they act together, they can accomplish amazing feats. Termites build large, complex mounds with intricate tunnels. Ants can organize large hunting parties and carry out raids against larger insects and sometimes even animals.
Swarm of robots have been developed with up to 90 robots organized into a single-acting, focused unit. As of now, most of these applications have been in the military area. Gathering intelligence, locating mines and explosives, and surveillance are three common applications commonly used today in the armed forces. What will truly be a robotics revolution is when swarm robots are used in the home or personal arena. Imagine several robots in your house working together to clean the floors, do the laundry, and prepare meals. This is where the future of personal robots may be headed.
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Credit: New Electronics
"Fifty years ago, predictions for the future always included robots that would, by now, be doing most of our daily domestic chores. While that hasn't happened, robots have had a huge impact on our lives, but in industry rather than the home."