A robot doesn't have to big, powerful and terrifying to be worthwhile, and many people are working on miniature machines that are just as cool. Some of these endeavors show promise in medicine, but there are plenty of potential uses for microbots, especially when you can persuade a swarm of them to work together. Research outfit SRI reckons tiny automatons have a bright future in manufacturing, thanks to its new method for precisely controlling individuals within a larger group. You see, one of the best ways of propelling and controlling microbots is by using magnets. and it's because there's no need for an on-board power source that we can make 'em so small. This poses a problem, however, as a pack of bots will all respond to a magnetic field in the same way, making it hard to give anything but a blanket order.