When the first human colonists land on Mars several decades from now, their habitat will already be waiting. They may not even have to don a space suit, instead simply walking down the gangplank in their civvies into a warm, well-lit Martian home.
That’s because if we ever do colonize Mars, chances are that our first emissaries will be hardy robots, sent to the Red Planet with construction materials and an organizing principle called “swarming,” borrowed from insects like termites and ants. With nothing but a few rules and a blueprint in their tiny robot brains, hundreds of relatively primitive machines will have built a complex, airtight structure suitable for human habitation in a fiercely lethal environment.
via Swarm and Fuzzy.