Sometimes robots can be better than humans at playing instruments. Sometimes they're just cooler at it. This herd of little swarm robots — which divvy up the playing between themselves automatically — is the latter.
Developed by researchers at Georgia Tech's GRITS Lab, these intelligent swarm robots are given a piece of music to play, but are not told exactly how to play it. While they're told what notes need to be hit when, they figure out the choreography by themselves, on the fly. The first robot gets the full instructions, passes some instructions to its neighbours and so forth until all the jobs are claimed. Robots that aren't required for the most efficient solution that the robots calculate just sit back and enjoy the show. It's sort of like those James Bond theme drones.
While the bots are playing Fur Elise here (and painfully slowly, I might add) the tech has potential for all sorts of more practical applications like studying climate change in Antarctica, and military applications. For the moment though, they're just an amusing intelligent robot swarm, not a useful (or dangerous) one. [GRITS Lab via Gizmag]