Wirelessly Powered Robot Swarm
The technology for wireless power transmission via induction goes back to a patent by Nikola Tesla in 1900 (US649621). Now Travis Deyle at Georgia Tech and Matt Reynolds from Duke University have created a wirelessly powered robot swarm.
Their work presented at ICRA 2008 earlier this year describes how robots with receiving coils positioned between their wheel bases can draw power from an arena equipped with transmit coils. The picture above shows 5 robots in such an arena, with their yellow and black receiving coils clearly visible (although I can only spot the coils on four of the robots...).
Best of all, the setup looks fairly straight-forward. For more details have a look at their ICRA publication and the video below. I wish the little Alice robots had had such a wireless power option when I did my research on robot swarms ...