Female professor at MIT develops robots that can "self assemble"

Daniela Rus is a Romanian robotics researcher who heads the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is leading a study of the concept of self-assembling robots.

"Rus's group has built robots that can tend a garden, bake cookies from scratch, cut a birthday cake, fly in swarms without human aid to perform surveillance functions -- and dance with humans," according to an MIT announcement.

Here is a video in which Dr. Rus, with two research-team members, explains and demonstrates the basic building blocks for her self-assembling robots. They're call M-blocks (The 'M' is for 'Momentum') which is the physics principle underlying their ability to autonomously move and jump.

Small cubes that self-assemble - MIT (4-1/4 minutes)

The CSAIL unit is MIT's largest inderdisciplinary laboratory and encompasses eight academic disciplines. Daniela Rus has headed this lab since 2012.

"In 10 or 15 years," Dr. Rus told a newspaper reporter, "I think that robots will be as commonplace as smartphones, with personal robots that can help with everything from doing search-and-rescue operations to folding the laundry.

03 JUN 2014