"ROBOTS: readied to take on search-and-rescue duties"
Microminiaturization has made possible swarms of autonomous robots using nothing more than off-the-shelf parts. But concentrating their wireless chatter and getting them to cooperate to solve problems may be five years away, the National Science Foundation cautions. It's putting $2.6 million into a five-year effort to turn multiple wireless robots into an emergency search-and-rescue team. "We want to help emergency response personnel by sending cooperative robots into an unknown site," said California Institute of Technology researcher Joel Burdick. "My team will be developing software that enables each of them to perform slightly different tasks that together accomplish the goal."
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