Distributed robotics pioneer James McLurkin will be speaking at the ideaFestival in September. Seeking to mine the interaction of bees, ants, wasps and termites for information about how to program multi-robot systems, his goal is to "understand how to use local interactions between nearby robots to produce large-scale group behaviors from the entire swarm," according to his MIT page. Such swarm technology could prove very valuable in areas where central control is difficult, or where large numbers of robots need to act independently of, and learn from, each other.
One of the defining features of the ideaFestival is that most sessions are free to the public. Come to Louisville and join the fun!