Harvard researchers have created a swarm of 1,024 small robots that work together as a team to form shapes or move, herd-like, toward a light source.
These three-legged robots, called Kilobots, weigh as much as three nickels and cost just $14 a piece to make. Other researchers have been working with swarms in hopes of one day having an army of tiny robots that can go into rubble after an earthquake to find victims, or squeeze into other areas where humans can't go, but those swarms have topped out at 100.
"Building 1,000 robots is hard," James McLurkin, director of the Multi-Robot Systems Lab at Rice University, told The Boston Globe. "Getting 1,000 robots to work together reliably is, how they'd say it in Boston? 'Wicked hard.'" McLurkin did not take part in this study, and called it a work of "engineering majesty."
In a study published Thursday in Science, the Harvard researchers explained that they designed software that allowed the robots to use information from each other in order to act; for instance, when the robots were instructed to build a shape, they would follow the edge of the group and measure their distance from a robot acting as a marker.
Because of the sheer size of the swarm, parties were held to assemble the robots, and it can take a good amount of time to charge and activate them. But this is only the beginning, and researchers are already trying to figure out how to make the robots even smaller. --Catherine Garcia
Bernie Sanders is pushing for the ouster of two high-ranking Democrats who support his rival, Hillary Clinton, but his party isn't sympathetic to his cause.
Former Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy co-chair the Democratic National Convention rules and platform committees, respectively, placing them in key positions to frustrate Sanders' plan to reshape his party — perhaps by getting rid of the superdelegate system — even if he does not win the nomination.
Sanders alleged the two cannot perform their duties in an unbiased fashion, but the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee dismissed his complaint Saturday, the Connecticut Post reports. Frank, however, has promised to recuse himself from any committee matters that could affect the party's choice of presidential nominee. Bonnie Kristian
Around 700 migrants from Libya may be dead after the three small boats they were using to cross the Mediterranean capsized on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the United Nations' refugee agency reported Sunday.
The largest boat was carrying some 670 migrants and did not have an engine. So far, only about 100 of its passengers have been rescued, while 15 bodies have been found.
All three boats were attempting to cross from North Africa to the southern shores of Italy. Libya has remained in chaos since the NATO-assisted overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, a power vacuum which permitted the Islamic State terrorist organization to set up shop in the seaside city of Sirte. Bonnie Kristian
A federal judge ordered the release of internal Trump University documents as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's company, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Donald Trump's attorneys had argued that the documents, including "playbooks" for salespeople, revealed trade secrets.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued the ruling hours after Trump disparaged his Latino heritage and called him a biased "hater" at a San Diego rally. In the order, Curiel said Trump "has placed placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue."
With 7 in 10 Americans reporting they are "frustrated" with the 2016 presidential election, this year could be the Libertarian Party's big chance — and America's largest third party is holding its national convention in Orlando, Florida, this weekend.
On the agenda: picking a presidential nominee from among three contenders. Though the contest is considered close, greatest name recognition belongs to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian nominee in 2012, when he picked up more than 1 million votes. Johnson recently polled at 10 percent nationally against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and he would need 15 percent support to make it into the general election debates.
Martin Short and Maya Rudolph stopped by The Tonight Show on Friday, so naturally host Jimmy Fallon had to find something totally outlandish for them to do together. The gang spoofed '80s cop shows with The Windy City Blue, a gag that gets progressively sillier — and windier — with each new bit. Hold onto your hat and watch below. Julie Kliegman
The World Health Organization dismissed a call Saturday to move or cancel the Rio Summer Olympics due to the spread of the Zika virus. The U.N. agency was responding to a Friday open letter from 150 health experts urging them to delay or relocate the event "in the name of public health," citing the mosquito-borne virus' link to birth defects.
"Based on the current assessment of the Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games," the group's statement read.
The Zika virus is thought to have originated in Brazil. Julie Kliegman
Yellen noted that "growth looks to be picking up from the various data that we monitor," referencing rising oil prices and a weaker, stabilizing dollar as the rationale for her decision, which corresponds with recent remarks from other Fed policymakers.
She argued that a gradual increase from the near-zero rate the central bank has maintained since the 2008 financial crisis "would be appropriate" to push inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent goal. Bonnie Kristian