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Meet Swarmanoid, a cuddly gang of robots who use grappling hooks to rob you

The Swarmanoid is an autonomous group of approximately 60 robots who work together like a SWAT team to accomplish the most mundane tasks. This machine swarm is made up of flying eye-bots, gripping hand-bots, and wheeled foot-bots.

Watch this ridiculously nifty demo reel of the Swarmanoid conspiring to steal a book. If Skynet turns out to have this amount of can-do pluck, I'm volunteering my own skull to be crushed under some tank treads.


The Swarmanoid project was spearheaded by Dr. Marco Dorigo of the Free University of Brussels and funded by the European Commission. This short film won the Artificial Intelligence Video Competition in San Francisco last week.

We've seen robotic swarms before, but none of them are as flamboyant as Swarmanoid, which turns even the most mundane tasks into espionage thrillers. You can check out Swarmanoid's three unique components here. These robots are hilarious when used for casual errands, but I wouldn't want to see these little bots applied to home security. That smacks too much of the movie Toys, and it would be extremely cruel to give burglars flashbacks to early 1990s Robin Williams.


[Swarmanoid via IEEE Spectrum via Hizook]

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Ghost in the Machine

Swarmanoid? You're 3/4 of the way to a SyFy movie. You just need a hottie woman scientist and maybe Bruce Boxleitner or John Rhys-Davies.