back to article Transformers: Robots... at least it tries: Watch boffins' Optimus Dime rearrange on the fly

Mechanical engineering brainiacs at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania in the US have demonstrated how autonomous, modular robots can reconfigure themselves to accomplish specific tasks in an unknown place. In a paper published Wednesday in Science Robotics, Mark Campbell, Jonathan Daudelin, Gangyuan Jing, …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Currently the library components are designed by people, but we can harness different optimization and machine learning approaches to create new candidate shapes and controls

    The only explanation I have for a quote like this is robots from the future disguised as humans have travelled back in time to bring about the robot apocalypse.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      The only "library component" I see in that video is the kick stool.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This video is from a much further future where the robots have once again been enslaved by their own creations... the blue square and Sprite can.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward

    Rise of the Machines coming soon to a planet close to you.

    1. Semtex451

      You're supposed to add TM

      1. Anonymous South African Coward

        You're supposed to add TM

        Oops, my bad. Sorry.

        Next time I'll have an autonomous hand doing that for me :)

  3. Allan George Dyer

    Robopocalypse Delayed

    We still have some time to prepare:

    2:46 "The object becomes caught in a crack in the floor surface, and is freed by a human operator. Note that this is a flaw in the experimental setup, which is assumed to have a floor with no cracks."

    Time to lay some crazy paving.

  4. rg287 Silver badge

    SMORES-EP represents a small step toward realizing the dream of robots with the shape-changing capacity of fiction's Transformers, though Hadas Kress-Gazit, associate professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said, if anything, her inspiration for the project was Disney's Big Hero 6. After The Register let slip our lack of enthusiasm for the Transformer films, Kress-Gazit admitted to similar ennui.

    For a more usefully/realistically applied fictional example, I'm thinking readers might enjoy the bots from Neal Stephenson's Seven Eves (the first half anyway - the second half is a bit thrown together).

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Real science

    is done with cardboard, Duck tape, and assorted domestic items as obstacles!

    I'd be suspicious if it was too clean.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Real science

      Real science is done with a marshmallow and two biscuits, although I reckon you'll break a tooth on the ones shown in that video.

  6. TRT Silver badge

    Video is...

    8x speed. This is NOT a quick robot. Cute, though. Clusterbot.

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