New Roomba-like robots latch onto each other with metal clasps and merge their “nervous systems” to become bigger, centrally controlled bots of various shapes and sizes. In this video, thirteen robots start out as individual machines, each acting as their own “brain unit” (as indicated by their red glow). Then, the robots glom onto each other to form snail-shaped, arrow-shaped, salamander-shaped and finally plier-shaped composite bots. In each of these bot conglomerates, one of the component robots acts as the brains of the operation (identifiable by its red LEDs).
Read more: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/these-bot-hookups-machines-meld-their-minds
Video: M. Dorigo et al/Nature Communications 2017