back to article Barcelona boffin births swarming microrobots

Microrobotics just took a giant step toward reality, according to a paper presented at this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. Microrobots are the subject of intense experimentation and development in a project formally known as Intelligent Small World Autonomous Robots for Micro- …


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  1. Ed

    lol why not

    let me be the first to welcome our new micro overlords

  2. Allan Dyer


    Sorry, I just trod on an overlord...

  3. Ash

    So when will the earth stand still?

    I want to see bilions of these formed into a 70' tall robot with a frikkin' laser beam eye!

    Set LEDs to kill. And call that coat stand from the movie... What's his name... Keanu "Cut with the grain" Reeves.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Programmable yes, autonomous yes, but aware?

    I rather think not. There was I expecting news of an exciting breakthrough in artificial intelligence, where you seem to be using the word to describe something about as "aware" as your average thermostat. Merely possessing sensors does not make something "aware".

  5. Alex
    Thumb Up


    8kB of program memory is quite good at that size. An Atmega8 has the same capability and it's in a DIP8 or TQFP package.


    Sounds like a very nice project. A video would be nice tho'.

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge


    ... will there be an insect repellent against i-swarms?

    Oh, there already is one, it's called EMP - probably an i-secticide then?


  7. Big Bear
    Black Helicopters

    And those are only the ones we KNOW about!

    What about the ones who combine into entirely convincing human forms? What about them? Eh? Eh?


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Oh dear...

    How soon until the microlords appear, then? Or should that be milli-lords? Tin-foil hats are not going to help against this plague. What to do, what to do... Ah, of course - turn off the lights!

  9. Tawakalna


    .. and Sam isn't in SG-1 anymore so we're double-doomed :(

  10. Anonymous Scotsman

    Overlord Repellent

    I'm thinking water, or possibly highly conductive gel strips. Bot-fly tape if you will.

    If those things need an overfiend lightbulb to give them the breath of life, then I expect the capacitor etc assemblies would short out with little in the way of dedicated resources.

    How long till they can self replicate?

  11. Steve


    I bet he wanted to call them "Microbots" but got slapped with a writ from a Japanese toy company

  12. Lionel Baden


    I guess i cant start smoking again !!

    theese little fellows will be warring in our veins soon enough :D

    Im off to get a big big burger

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    What I want to know.

    Is whether he's removed the "on" and "off" labels from the lab light switch and replaced them with "creation" and "genocide"?

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Re:Merely possessing sensors does not make something "aware".

    I heartily agree. I see objects shuffling around every day at the office. They have very good sensors (high-tech ones called eyes and ears), but they seem blissfully unaware of anything.

    As long as the coffeepot is not empty, that is.

  15. Luther Blissett

    Will they bee

    a DDT substitute to eradicate mosquitos, OR

    a TNT, white phosphor, and DIME substitute to eradicate Palestinians?

    To live and let live - that is the question.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but...

    Can they take out the Daleks?

  17. Horridbloke

    Most importantly...

    ...can they run Crysis?

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