Eventually, it is hoped that the tiny 'bots will be able to swarm together to construct small objects or structures, like communications dishes.
In his 1995 novel The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson wrote about swarms of tiny aerostats that used a grid formation to defend their assigned territory. Althought they functioned as independent devices, their swarm behavior let them respond as a group to threats.
Read more at NASA Tests Shape-Shifting Robot Pyramid For Nanotech Swarms; check out the autonomous nanotechnology swarm website (with cool concept videos).
(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)