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Insect-Inspired Cooperating Robots:

 Slightly over 1 minute

Please click on "four arrows" button to view in full screen ^
so you can see their tiny arms and legs

 Total duration of project, including filming: under 1 week


Harvard has an institute that is interested in at-scale insect-inspired robots. They are also interested in multiple robots working together in loosely-coordinated swarms, with limited or no communication. Although Harvard specializes in creating the hardware for insect robots, they haven't (2010) put it together with software systems to do something useful.

This demonstration shows a swarm of robots working together, in a loosely-coordinated manner, to accomplish a useful task: picking up leaves off of a lawn.

Full robotics comprises perception, cognition, and actuation, together with modeling. This demonstration finesses the perception part and concentrates on cognition, using simplified action and modeling.


  • Insect-inspired robots accomplishing a useful task
  • Swarms of robots with loose coordination
  • Cognition software to run insect robots