marco dorigo and his team of researchers at the université libre de bruxelles have developed self-reconfiguring modular robots that can merge, split and self-heal while retaining full sensorimotor control. these self-reconfiguring robots can adapt their bodies to react to tasks or their surroundings autonomously, reports a study in nature communication.
‘our vision is that, in the future, robots will no longer be designed and built for a particular task.’ explain dorigo et al. ‘instead, we will design composable robotic units that give robots the flexibility to autonomously adapt their capabilities, shape and size to changing task requirements.’
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the system is demonstrated using 10 units, but the authors suggest that the system can easily scale up. they suggest that in the future, robots will no longer be designed and built for a particular task, and suggest that their system could eventually influence the production of robots that can adapt to changing task requirements.