"To understand why N.C. State University is a hotbed for
open-source computing, watch eight duck-shaped robots learn to
recognize one another as they navigate a maze in a campus lab.
"Half the robots are green; the rest are red. Each uses a camera
eye to avoid the maze's black walls, to find same-color robots and
to wheel away from different-color robots.
"They report what they see through a wireless network that NCSU
students and professors can tap into anywhere. To change the
mission -- say, to have the green robots cozy up to the red ones --
a student can type commands into a computer that will transmit them
back to the robots..."