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kilobots-7

Kilobots, $130 each

I’m absolutely fascinated by swarm robotics and really want to do a swarm project. These Harvard-developed bots made a big splash when they were introduced and initially billed as “$14 swarmbots.” That’s what they might cost you in parts if you built them yourself (the plans are available). If you buy them, from K-Team which produces and sells them into the educational/research market, they’re $1,300 for a swarm of ten. One of my projects in 2013 is going to be building a couple of these. They’re quite ingenious. They use bulk infrared programming — with a programmer that hangs over the swarm — and recharge themselves in a charging pen. How they move is also innovative — three stick-pin legs and pager motors motivate them like a direction-controllable Bristlebot.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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