The idea of building robots out of lots of tiny robots is compelling, but through the last ten years of research, we haven't been able to come up with any convincing real-world applications for modular robotics. In a couple of months, however, we'll be releasing Cubelets, a modular robotic construction kit that gives kids the ability to build their own models of complexity, parallelism, and emergence. I'll demonstrate Cubelets and the programming system that we're working on, and discuss how these technologies can change the way that people think about the world. For more information, see this video demo ( vimeo.com/19712586 ) of recent prototypes by Modular Robotics.
Eric Schweikardt is the Design Director at Modular Robotics in Boulder, CO. He is a deliberate comprehensivist with a background in architecture, computation, and design. He spent a year as a post-doc at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Lab working on self-reconfiguring structures. His PhD is from the Computational Design Lab at Carnegie Mellon University where he worked on construction kits, modular robotics, and evolutionary algorithms for design.
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