Harvard Develops a Swarm of 1,024 Autonomous ‘Kilobots’ That Assemble Themselves Into Elaborate Shapes

Computer scientists and engineers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a swarm of 1,024 autonomous “kilobots” capable of assembling themselves into elaborate shapes. The robots are given a shape to replicate, and they use infrared signals to communicate with one another to determine where the border of the shape should be, and then they scuttle to find a place within that border.

The kilobots can be used to study how animals like ants cooperate in nature, and how those techniques can be translated to robot behavior. They work similarly to a swarm of termite-inspired construction robots developed earlier by one of the kilobot creators Radhika Nagpal and her Self-Organizing Systems Research Group.

Harvard debuted the kilobots last year, and SciShow host Hank Green gives a simple explanation about how they work in a 2014 episode of the show.

kilobots 1

kilobots 2

photos via Harvard

via The Awesomer

Architect Turns Basement Into an Amazing Lounge With Organized Storage for His 250,000 LEGO Bricks & Accessories

LEGO Room

Jeffrey Pelletier, a Seattle-based architect and owner of Board & Vellum, renovated an old home built in 1902 and turned a portion of the basement into an amazing lounge that comes equipped with organized storage for his 250,000 LEGO bricks and accessories. Connected to the LEGO room is a well-stocked bar to help with some of the larger, stressful LEGO builds. The massive project was built by N & R Construction, with casework created by Evan Scott Cabinet and Furniture. More photos from Houzz‘s recent tour of the home are available to view online.

Dubbed the Lego Lounge, the basement includes a bar, a media room, laundry, storage and a guest bedroom. “We really got a lot of bang for the use of that footage,” says Pelletier. Although it can be a hassle lowering a basement floor the way Pelletier did, he ended up with an extra floor of living space without having to expand the home’s shell.

Shelves keep Pelletier’s Lego pieces neatly arranged. Kellen is only 1, so he hasn’t developed an interest in playing with the Legos yet — or removing them from their carefully organized cases.

LEGO Room

LEGO Room

photos via Board & Vellum

via Gizmodo

An Amusing Animation That Shows What a Trip to the Park Looks Like from a Dog’s Perspective

Man and Dog” is an amusing animation that shows what a trip to the park looks like from a dog’s perspective. Set to the classic gospel song “Down in My Heart“, a tired man begrudgingly takes his enthusiastic dog for a walk, where everything is bright, shiny and yummy from a canine point of view. It’s not until he bumps into a Coca-Cola machine, that the man gets on the same page as his dog.

Going to the Park from a Dog's Perspective

image via thund3rbolt

via thund3rbolt, Tastefully Offensive

A Scratch-Off World Map That Lets Travelers Keep Track of Which Countries They Have Visited

Scratch-Off World Map

Art. Lebedev Studio has created the I Was Here map, a scratch-off world map that lets travelers keep track of their adventures, one country at a time. The poster-sized map is printed with all the countries covered in a silver scratch-off material. When the material is removed, a colorful version of the map is revealed.

Scratch-Off World Map

photos via Art. Lebedev Studio

via Coudal Partners

An Online Guide to 21 Privately Owned Public Open Space Parks in San Francisco

San Francisco Park Guide
100 First Street

Designer and writer Matthew Lew has created an online guide to 21 privately owned public open spaces (POPOS), the hard-to-find but open-to-the-public parks hidden amongst the towers of downtown San Francisco. The City of San Francisco also maintains a map of POPOS. We previously posted about a POPOS map by Strange Maps.

San Francisco Park Guide
Redwood Park at Transamerica Pyramid

San Francisco Park Guide
201 Mission Street

San Francisco Park Guide
201 Spear Street

photos via Matthew Lew

via Boing Boing

An Adorable Cat Bed Shaped Like a Chain Chomp From ‘Super Mario Bros.’

Chain chomp cat bed with cat butt

The Chain Chomp Cat Bed by Catastrophic Creations is a bed for cats that serves as a splendid reproduction of what is arguably one of the most adorable enemies in the Super Mario Bros. universe, the Chain Chomp. The box even opens for storage for all your kitty’s gear, but sadly, Catastrophic Creations has sold out of this amazing piece of pet furniture.

This was originally going to be a litter box. I still think pictures of the cats kicking and then jumping out of this would be priceless. This took an incredibly long amount of time to make, and because of this we’re only making two.

Chain chomp cat bed without cat

Chain chomp cat bed with one cat

Chain chomp cat bed with two cats

Chain chomp cat bed in progress

Chain chomp cat bed in progress 2

photos via Catastrophic Creations

via Nintendo Retro Gaming, The Frogman