News From the Field
The 1,000-robot swarm
August 14, 2014
Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, researchers from Harvard University demonstrated that a self-organizing swarm of more than a thousand small robots, called kilobots, can perform complex tasks based on simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence. The advance was described in the August 15 issue of Science.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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