Published: Friday 31 January 1997

Two robots, Happy and Bashful, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, recently used the Internet to teach each other. One of the seven 'dwarf' robots of Reading University in UK, Happy was sent to the University of Buffalo, New York and programmed to use the Net to talk to Bashful, back in Reading. The miniature robots on wheels require no remote control or human intervention. In the experiment, Bashful trained itself to move around without bumping into anything, by using ultrasound sensors. Bashful then taught Happy to do the same. Happy later received programming data from Bashful, telling it how to carry out specific tasks.

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