February 13, 2014 | David

Termite mounds amaze me. How can tiny creatures with no way to see the big picture build strong giant structures?

A team at Harvard University have made robots that follow simple instructions to build big structures as a team. The cool thing is that individual robots don't know what the finished structure will be. They just react to what's around them and keep on building. More advanced versions could be used to build flood defences such as sandbag walls. Robots to the rescue!

This research appears in the 14 February 2014 issue of Science, the journal of AAAS, the non-profit society.

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Flood Wall

The low-tech robot team doesn't rely on any one individual to get the job done.

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Image: Jennie Hills/Science Museum

2 comments on 'Could robots build flood barriers?'

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T

February 15, 2014 at 08:50

Although very clever, it does beg the question. If money is to be spent on this, where is it coming from? And why spend it on this, when there are people quite capable of doing it who are losing there jobs through cuts. Just a though and yes, it's very clever.

lydie camus

February 15, 2014 at 06:28

I like the idea !

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