Rotating robots move collectively and self-organize.

Scholz C, Engel M, Pöschel T (2018)

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2018


Book Volume: 9

Pages Range: 931

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03154-7


Biological organisms and artificial active particles self-organize into swarms and patterns. Open questions concern the design of emergent phenomena by choosing appropriate forms of activity and particle interactions. A particularly simple and versatile system are 3D-printed robots on a vibrating table that can perform self-propelled and self-spinning motion. Here we study a mixture of minimalistic clockwise and counter-clockwise rotating robots, called rotors. Our experiments show that rotors move collectively and exhibit super-diffusive interfacial motion and phase separate via spinodal decomposition. On long time scales, confinement favors symmetric demixing patterns. By mapping rotor motion on a Langevin equation with a constant driving torque and by comparison with computer simulations, we demonstrate that our macroscopic system is a form of active soft matter.

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Scholz, C., Engel, M., & Pöschel, T. (2018). Rotating robots move collectively and self-organize. Nature Communications, 9(1), 931.


Scholz, Christian, Michael Engel, and Thorsten Pöschel. "Rotating robots move collectively and self-organize." Nature Communications 9.1 (2018): 931.

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