Robotics researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have released a new video where they’ve showcased their new research – a swarm of nano quadrotors flying around in patterns, shapes and with some brilliant precision. These drones are capable of executing some brilliant commands like flipping, flying in an eight pattern, return to the last position and getting into formations. These machines come from UPenn's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) lab and their team of researchers is working on getting these quadrotors to replace human search and surveillance teams.

Look ma, nano quadrotors!

Look ma, nano quadrotors!

As reported by the Huffington Post, the team of scientists are currently addressing a few questions that include, “Can large numbers of autonomously functioning vehicles be reliably deployed in the form of a ‘swarm’ to carry out a prescribed mission and to respond as a group to high-level management commands? Can such a group successfully function in a potentially hostile environment, without a designated leader, with limited communications between its members, and/or with different and potentially dynamically changing “roles” for its members?” For now, check out the video below to get enthralled by some crazy flying robots. 


As can be seen from the video, this brilliant formation and flying skill combo is nothing, but some brilliant coding and software. The mechanics have been present and are commercially available. We’ve seen similar hardware in a lot of radio controlled devices. While it might not be of the same quality, the hardware exists. What sets these rotors apart from the rest is how brilliantly obedient they are – perfect software execution is key, out here. The figure of eight pattern, especially requires some crazy amount of precision, accuracy and timing. 

Thinking about the real life implementation of these quadrotors, there’s a lot of places where they could prove to be really useful. Besides military usage and potential world dominance, which is slowly becoming quite apparent, these quadrotors would make for some really cool toys. But, for commercial usage – can you guys think of any specific deployment genre for these cool flying machines? Let us know in the comments section below.  

Publish date: February 3, 2012 12:04 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:31 pm

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