By Alison Dunn
Swarms of robots acting together to carry out jobs could provide new opportunities for humans to harness the power of machines.
Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, have been working to program a group of 40 robots, and say the ability to control robot swarms could prove hugely beneficial in a range of contexts, from military to medical.
The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface. The robots can also group themselves together into a single cluster after being scattered across a room, and organize themselves by order of priority.