I love swarm robots, especially when they pull off tricks that you can easily imagine a robot army doing.
Researchers at the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab have been having fun with small Khepera robots and a quadrotor.
The vid below shows how the Khepera robots can be told to follow a leader bot and assemble into various formations. It's interesting to note that they don't communicate with one another, just like the experiment when they spelled GRITS.
In discussing the algorithms he used, Macdonald notes that while the robots do not need to communicate, they do need to know the position of each of their fellows. That becomes computationally intensive with large numbers of machines.
Still, this kind of research could help groups of machines move around and execute tasks more efficiently. It won't be long before military bots are swarming in formation on sea, land, and air.
(Via Tech Crunch)