...how can robots work together? (with Kirstin Petersen)
Play • 20 min

We are starting a new series on robots! We've seen some pretty amazing advances in robotics in just the past few years. Maybe you've seen videos of humanoid robots that do backflips or robot hummingbirds that can hover in midair. Now, a video of a single back-flipping robot is pretty amazing. But what if you could get a whole team of robots--hundreds or even thousands of robots--to cooperate with each other? 

Do you ever wonder what would happen if robots worked together?

Kirstin Petersen is a roboticist and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. And in her lab, she builds cooperative teams of robots, called robot swarms, that are inspired by insects like ants, termites, and bees. We talked about the challenges of getting huge numbers of robots to communicate with each other and how studying nature can offer solutions.

Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.

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