Try different ways of controlling robots. Press mouse button to engage robots (blue) to move blocks (green) toward goal positions (outlined). Play all 3!
We want to use swarms of robots to build micro devices. This experiment compares different controllers, modeled after real-world devices.
Scientists are using scanning tunneling microscopes (STM) to arrange atoms and make small assemblies. A very tiny sub-microscopic tip is charged with electrical potential, and this charge can be used to repulse like-charged molecules or attract differently-charged molecules. The global controller represents using global field (formed by parallel lines of differently-charged conductors) to pull molecules all in the same direction. See video of a global controller, or our paper.