Creating an 'army' of self-building robots

Researchers at MIT have designed self-building robots called M-Blocks. The cubes don't have any...

Researchers at MIT have designed self-building robots called M-Blocks. The cubes don't have any exterior parts, but can still climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces. (Photo: M. Scott Brauer/HANDOUT)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET

Mankind better hope MIT's latest creation doesn't turn on us.

Researchers at the school have designed self-building robots — cubes that don't have any exterior parts, but can still climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces.

Known as M-Blocks, the robots are unique because they can move on their own.

"If you drop one of these along the way, or something goes wrong, it can rejoin the group, no problem," researcher Kyle Gilpin said in a release about the blocks.

Researcher John Romanishin, who initially came up with the idea in 2011, said the next step is to build an "army" of blocks that can move in any direction and are guided by algorithms.

"We want hundreds of cubes, scattered randomly across the floor, to be able to identify each other, coalesce, and autonomously transform into a chair, or a ladder, or a desk, on demand," Romanishin said.

 


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