Engineering students at Harvard unveiled the fruits of a four-year project that drew on inspiration from termite behavior to create a completely autonomous crew of robots capable of constructing simple 3D structures. "The key inspiration we took from termites is the idea that you can do something really complicated as a group, without a supervisor, and secondly that you can do it without everybody discussing explicitly what's going on, but just by modifying the environment," principal investigator Radhika Nagpal said.

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