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Harvard researchers look to termites as inspiration for autonomous building robots

23
Feb
2014

Termites may be among the most repellent and invasive insects on the planet, but theyve also provided the inspiration for a set of swarm-based construction robots designed by a group of Harvard researchers. The TERMES robots work under the same principle — theyre designed to construct 3D structures much larger than themselves with little oversight. Normally, at the beginning, you have a blueprint and a detailed plan of how to execute it, and the foreman goes out and directs his crew, supervising them as they do it, says principle researcher Radhika Nagpal. The team has also published a new video of the TERMES robots in action, which includes some time-lapse footage of several robots working together to build a structure.

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