The researchers of Harvard University had seen that the ants, schooling fish and flocking birds all have a common feature is that they can gain something by working together. They have taken the idea from these and wanted to develop communicating robots for doing some special task that is very difficult for a single robot. At present Harvard University has introduced two-dimensional 1,000 tiny Kilobots.
The diameter of each of the individual Kilobot is only about a quarter-dollar coin of US. The robot can move by three rigid legs that are always vibrated by two motors, and it allows moving straight forward, left, and right. A light beam shoots by the wide-angle infrared transceiver that is mounted in bottom on the smooth surfaces. The beam continuously reflects until other nearby Kilobots receives it. By this way, it can communicate with one another, along with detecting proximity to their near ones. They receive commands from infrared light of pulsating over the head by an on-board microcontroller.
At first, Harvard had introduced a group of 100 of the robots, but at present, the number of Kilobots is up to 1,024. Prof. Radhika Nagpal said that they want to achieve cleanup of environmental as well as a quick response of disaster by this large number of communicating robots.
To see the self communication of this robot, you can see below.