Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarms (ANTS)
Nasa is working on a technology called Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarms (ANTS) that is designed to be able to nimbly navigate a difficult and hostile terrain such as Mars. In addition to to flexibility of each node, the entire structure of nodes can shift its shape as conditions warrant.
Although this is obviously a "robotics" technology, the same concepts are quite relevant to software agent technology.
My attention was brought to this announcement by a post on Slashdot.
-- Jack Krupansky