Termites inspire robotic construction

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The TERMES system consists of a fully autonomous robotic construction team tasked with building larger structures. The process is based on implicit communication between termites when building their nests. Instead of direct interaction, termites observe changes in each other’s environment and respond, a concept called stigmergy.

The project involves a team from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Their research was published in the Feb. 14 issue of Science and presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual Meeting earlier this month.

Developing a deeper understanding of collective behavior is one of the main objectives of this research.

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