Geum Yi

It’s a Kilotons better working together

February 24, 2015

st00224-01The saying, “Two heads are better than one,” can be applied to many things, but in the case of Kilobots, it should be “A thousand heads are better than one.”

One Kilobot is not much; it is simply a tiny machine with a mere diameter of a few centimeters. Yet, just like us humans, when the Kilobots group together, it takes only around 1024 Kilobots to accomplish amazing feats. Together they are able to arrange themselves into 2D-shapes with minimal information input.

The group behind the Kilobots was Computer Science Professor Radhika Nagpal and her team. Nagpal and her team wanted to illustrate that even simple robots like the Kilobot can do mind-blowing things if they band together. The Kilobots are capable of organizing themselves into shapes such as,a sea star, the letter K (for Kilobots), and a wrench. What’s more amazing is the fact that the Kilobots only need initial instructions given to them via infrared, after that they are able to work completely automatically. Four Kilobots mark a coordinate system while the others obtain the image of the shape they are about to recreate. The way the Kilobots can form into a shape so orderly is due to the fact that they are equipped with infrared transmitters that allow them to communicate with their fellow neighbors, ultimately assisting the Kilobots with future directions.

Although much progress has been made since the initial idea, the Kilobots are not perfect.

Kilobots are not immaculate right now and still need further adjustments and configurations. For example, they have trouble moving in a straight line and each of the Kilobots hasa separate sense of distance. But, these imperfections seem miniscule when compared to the jaw-dropping accomplishments the Kilobots have achieved together. For now, what the Kilobots are doing is amazing. I truly believe that in the near future these simple robots will be developed into something even more amazing. The Kilobots will soon open new gates for fields like construction, agriculture, medicine, and mining – overall improving the lives of humans.


st00224-01-1 Joshua Hong
Webb School 11th Grade

One Comment

  1. kelly

    November 27, 2017 at 1:08 PM

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