Some very interesting work was published earlier this week in Sciencemag.org. Sabine Hauert from the Bristol Robotics Lab and James Sharpe at EMBL and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona along with others have created a natural robotic swarm.
By natural we mean the swarm has no predefined pattern or shape and makes it’s own shape using over 300 coin sized robots.
Taking inspiration from slime mold, fire ants and Turing patterns the team have managed to make the robots behave in a natural non pre-defined way called morphogenesis. See for yourself in the video below.