Convergence is common in technology circles — especially information technology areas. However, Siemens researchers in Princeton, New Jersey have developed prototype spider-like robots that can work collaboratively to print structures and surfaces, thus potentially accelerating production of large-scale, complex structures such as the fuselages of planes and the hulls of ships — convergence of information technology, additive manufacturing, robotics, vision, and scanning technologies.
The spiders are known as SiSpis or Siemens Spiders, and they are recognized as promising representatives of what could someday be a new species of industrial worker.
SiSpis are part of a larger picture defined as Siemens Agile Manufacturing Systems (SiAMS) and they represent the core of Siemens autonomous systems research. The spider-like bots are essentially fully autonomous additive manufacturing devices with legs and may be useful for collaborative additive manufacturing of structures, such as car bodies, the hulls of ships and airplane fuselages.
Of course, a large project would potentially require hundreds of these spiders, all working autonomously on their small piece of the puzzle, so to speak, yet collaboratively in the sense of the bigger picture.