So ok, dancing robots? That’s always a good way to reel me in. That has awesomeness written all over it. But it gets better – you see, unlike other robotic dance routines you may have seen before, these aren’t pre-programmed. They’re synchronised by copying what they see, and they’re doing all of that in real time. You can tell in the video by the one which is moved.
This robotic flash mob keeps in sync by watching what the others are doing, using a technique called quorum sensing, developed at MIT. While dancing robots are cool, this is really just a proof of concept. The important part is that it’s a set of machines engaging in swarm behaviour, following a complex and unpredictable series of movements. That’s pretty impressive.
Plus, the little robots themselves are called NAOs and they’re made by a French company called Aldebaran Robotics. I mean really, it doesn’t get much cooler than this, does it?
(With a robotic tip of the hat to Starts with a Bang – where you’ll find a fair bit more detail on these little guys)