From leaping over obstacles to pulling objects thousands of times their own weight, robots are great at many things. What they’re not so good at is working as an autonomous team in an unfamiliar setting – until now, that is. A team of researchers from MIT has developed an algorithm that streamlines the way robots collaborate on construction tasks, significantly cutting down planning time.

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The problem with the way that robots usually tackle construction tasks, is their insistence on getting it right the first time. The new algorithm is designed to deal with a situation where the robots in question must perform an assembly operation that requires multiple steps, some of which require two of the robots to work together to complete. None of the robots are given specific tasks, with the decisions as to which machine does what being made on the fly.

Overall, the new algorithm looks like a big positive step towards an efficient robotic workforce.

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> Read more by Chris Wood, gizmag, May29, 2015

MIT teaches robots to be better at building together