Eliminating the herky-jerky movements of robots isn't just good for comforting nervous humans... it helps the robots, too. Researchers have developed smooth movement algorithms that slow the acceleration and deceleration of robots, saving as much as 40 percent of the energy they'd normally use. The trick is to order tasks in a way that lets robots move at their own pace without colliding into each other. Factory robots typically rush through tasks in a rigid order, only to wait for their fellow automatons to catch up. Here, they're more flexible as to when and how quickly they get things done.