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The Ants are a community of cubic-inch microrobots at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab . There are two main goals for this project. The first is to push the limits of microrobotics by integrating many sensors and actuators into a small package.
The first robot that mimics the water striders' jumping abilities "Why Superhydrophobicity Is Crucial for a Water−Jumping Microrobot? Experimental and Theoretical Investigations" ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
In the very near future, these researchers believe robots will combine together to do all the tasks assigned to them. The Swarmanoid Project is a glorious example of a glimpse into the future which demonstrates 60 robots working together in a collaborative environment. The goal of the swarm robotic project (4 years in the making) is to use the different capabilities of each class of robot and combine them into a system to accomplish tasks.
Quadrocopters are loads of fun and really neat RC projects. Instead of a body for the copter, this project uses the PCB itself as the airframe. With a weight of just 20 grams and just 8 cms long, it’s as barebones as you can get. The PCB airframe may not make it aesthetically pleasing, but the quadrocopter is a stable flier. A 3-axis accelerometer and two gyroscopes help the tiny copter make 250 adjustments per second and keep it in stable flight mode.
AscTec Hummingbird Quadrocopter University of Tübingen Pretty amazing stuff from the DIY UAV world: robotics researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany have created a small, fully autonomous helicopter that can track and land on a moving target--a simulated aircraft carrier landing pad mounted on the back of another robot--tracking its LED runway lights with a Wiimote's infrared camera. It's an interesting demo of what can be done with ultra-cheap, consumer-level parts.