Colony Scout Offers Cute And Useful Swarm Robots
DECEMBER 02, 2010 | EVAN ACKERMAN
Colony Scout is a modular robot platform designed to provide adaptable and affordable swarm robotics to anyone who wants it. Modular and adaptable means that each individual robot comes with an accessory plate to which you can bolt pretty much anything you want, including a little forklift that extends up to 6 inches, or a digger arm and bucket with a 2 pound capacity.
Besides the accessories, Colony Scout is designed to be cheap and simple. The batteries and processor are easy to access, and the basic robot includes long range sonar and short range IR sensors to allow for obstacle avoidance. Also, the two halves of the chassis are coupled with a rotating joint, allowing the robot to navigate some pretty serious bumps, even at its 2 mph top speed:
UPDATE: Now >4mph
The target price for for the Colony Scout is a reasonably affordable $500. In bulk, that is, but with swarm robotics, there's really no other way to go.