Booklovers, Beware the Robot Swarm [VIDEO]

Booklovers, Beware the Robot Swarm [VIDEO]

Booklovers, Beware the Robot Swarm [VIDEO]

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 16 2011 12:56 PM

Booklovers, Beware the Robot Swarm [VIDEO]

The robot apocalypse may not be coming, but you may want to hold tight to your books. At last week’s Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Video Competition, the winning short presented Swarmanoid, a group of about 60 robots, working together to steal a book.

Torie Bosch Torie Bosch

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, New America, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

Swarmanoid’s creators describe the project thusly:


The main scientific objective of this research project is the design, implementation and control of a novel distributed robotic system. The system will be made up of heterogeneous, dynamically connected, small autonomous robots. Collectively, these robots will form what we call a swarmanoid. The swarmanoid that we intend to build will be comprised of numerous (about 60) autonomous robots of three types: eye-bots, hand-bots, and foot-bots.

Cool factor aside, there are practical applications to such swarm robots: In 2008, the BBC suggested they could be used for such diverse tasks as crowd control, planetary exploration, and building solar farms.

(H/t: IO9.)

Read more on Swarmanoid.


Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.