James Temple
Re/code.net
April 17, 2014

SRI International has developed a new generation of ant-like robots that can work as a coordinated swarm of miniature builders.

The research powerhouse says the bots can construct lightweight, high-strength structures; handle tiny electrical components; carry out chemistry on a chip; and perform many other manufacturing tasks. Eventually, they expect that the machines, the smallest of which are no thicker than a dime, will even be able to build smaller versions of themselves.

SRI has already demonstrated the ability to make more than 1,000 of the robots work together at once.

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