If you think that modular robotics is cool, but that it will not be available or usable for a very long time, think again. It is actually both available and used right now!
I have used modular robots in real life and so have Modular robotics, the company that makes the Cubelets.
They just published this great video, where you can see how they build a test rig for Cubelets, with Cubelets!
They had to modify the Cubelets quite a bit, and although that is not really modular robotics I think we have to give them that, as the Cubelets are early in development and they are not claimed to be an industrial strength system.
I have also built a practically usable object I could not easily have bought as an old-school product myself!
I used the Cubelets to build a dimmable flashlight. It was really convenient and exactly what I needed right then and there,
and it took me less then 10 seconds to do! I don’t think any other system could have done this or something even close to that.
So I boldly proclaim that the era of modular robotics is here!
And I am looking forward to many more cool things built with modular robotics, and the self reconfiguring version that is on the horizon!