Tag Archives: Harvard

Kilobot Collective Behaviours, Programmable Swarms Learn New Tricks…

The boffins at SSR Labs Harvard (Self-Organizing Systems Research) have continued the development of their swarm robot the Kilobot, capturing the swarms latest tricks in the new Kilobot Collective Behavior video. Designed to be so cheap that thousands of robots could be deployed in experiments the little Kilobot is now becoming a favourite amongst enthusiasts and educators.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are the latest incredible swarm videos featuring the Kilobots in action. Luckily the Kilobot swarm is defeated by carpet and uneven surfaces so world domination is not yet a possibility. Sit back relax and enjoy the strangely familiar antics of Kilobots.

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Robobees, The Monolithic Pop-Up Robotic Bee…

Miniature manufacturing processes were once solely the territory of Swiss watch makers, hand assembling tiny machines with precision. These types of manufacturing processes has never transferred well to mass production, until now.

A team of Harvard scientists have taken micro sized mass production in a whole new direction. Inspired by origami and fold out books the team has developed an incredible micro machine that requires almost zero human assembly. The Mobee is the first example of such a manufacturing process, a tiny collection of sub millimeter parts that self-assemble into miniature robotic Bee.

“This takes what is a craft, an artisan process, and transforms it for automated mass production,” says Pratheev Sreetharan (A.B. ’06, S.M. ’10), who co-developed the technique with J. Peter Whitney. Both are doctoral candidates at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

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Light Disorder: Laws of Reflection, Refraction and the Surface Pattern Loophole…

Scientists at Harvard have discovered new ways of making light dance, along the way changing the laws of reflection and refraction of light. The wonderful world of Nano particles, along with their effects on light’s behavior were explored in order to make these discoveries. Under normal circumstances light is nice and predictable, Mr Consistent, the team from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – SEAS – found a loop-hole though, precise patterns of metallic nano-structures.

Just as in a Carnivals Magic Mirror amusement the nano-structures were able to warp and bend light, unlike the carnival though they did not require bendy mirrors or clever lighting. Instead using Nano structures embedded in precise patterns on the surface of silicon they were able to alter lights behavior. Their findings were published in the scientific journal Science, September 2 and have since led to the reformation of the mathematical laws of reflection and refraction, the predicted path of a ray of light bouncing of a surface or passing from medium to medium, bouncing or bending.

“Using designer surfaces, we’ve created the effects of a fun-house mirror on a flat plane,” said co-principal investigator Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS. “Our discovery carries optics into new territory and opens the door to exciting developments in photonics technology.”

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Kilobots: The New Swarm to Take Over the World…

Kilobots to take over the world, $14 dollars at a time!? A Harvard University research group – Self-Organizing Systems – have designed and made available an extremely simple and cheap robot capable of working as a collective, a team. Looking like a peice of 1950’s electronics the Kilobot is able to move, sense and react. Is this the most dangerous robot ever invented or an essential tool for investigating robotics ?

Intended to be a research tool for programmers developing control logic for self organising robots, with $14 worth of parts they are cheap enough to allow testing of 1000’s of robots in a swarmcollective group of robots working together -, something even the big research groups like MIT couldn’t afford to do without Kilobot. The Kilobots require a hard surface to operate so we are all safe, until the world is laminated that is.

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