13 Jan '15, 2pm

Autonomous Modules Self-Assemble in Air and Water

Autonomous Modules Self-Assemble in Air and Water

We’ve seen a few different robotic construction projects that leverage stochasticity to assemble themselves into complex, ordered shapes or structures through a combination of time and random motion. Generally, the autonomous protorobot modules (is that a thing?) are active on some kind of artificial random motion generator like a table that shakes, but it’s much more fun to see autonomous modules assembling themselves using only the power of nature. This project of helium balloons carrying small structural segments is called Aerial Assemblies, and it comes from MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab: Aerial Assemblies focuses on large-scale modules that can assemble in the airspace high above land, construction sites or complex environments. After the helium fades and the modules touch-down, the assembled lightweight structural lattices will remain. Whi...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots...

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