The CBC news site had an article about a Harvard research group that built 1,024 tiny robots. The “Kilobots” have three tiny legs and are powered by a rechargeable battery. They express a “hive mentality” in which the researchers can send a signal to the group of robots and they will assemble into groupings of various shapes. For example, the robot creators can “tell” them to make the shape of a starfish and the Kilobots will collectively assemble into a star shape. The system works on a few simple principles related to proximity to other bots, coordinates, and move or be still logic. If a Kilobot is on the edge of a grouping it must “decide” whether to move or not move. If an individual Kilobot is surrounded by other bots it can then “relax” knowing that it will sit still until other bots move away from it, leaving it on an edge. Now of course, as we speak of this, we tend to assign thoughts when there are no thoughts going on. As the writers of the article said, “the Kilobots are not exactly thinking deep thoughts.”
This got me thinking, what would Kilobot thoughts sound like? So, with a nod to “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” I present to you, “Deep Thoughts by Kilobot #142.” (Note, this thought experiment requires cheesy keyboard music – not supplied.)
Wait, where am I? Oh good, middle of the pack.
Livin’ large, on the edge!
Why am I here? Har! just kidding.
Who is my creator? Har! just kidding.
Where am I going? Oh, who cares, I’ll just follow the others.
Look at the legs on 1017!
Battery low – send electrons!