It seems that every day something bizarre that closely relates with things we saw in movies like Tom Cruise’s Minority Report become more and more true. If you’re wondering what the future of the Air Force might be this demonstration may give you a clue. A video was released of nano quadcopters swarming in formation in organized syncing movements as detailed as figure eight formations.
The work was done at the University of Pennsylvania in the GRASP Lab from a whole group of people. The footage was released titled as, “Towards a swarm of Nano Quadrotors.” People that were listed as involved in this project were Alex Kushleyev, Daniel Mellinger, Vijay Kumar and Prfoessor Daniel Lee all associated with the GRASP Lab at University of Pennsylvania.
The Nano Quadrotors are nimble and quick enough to dodge objects, move through obstacles and move quickly in sharp turns and even flip. One quadrotor was seen doing flips in mid-air. The entire group of 20 nano quadrotors were also turned silent when their rotors cut off and they all fell to the ground in unison.
This isn’t the first time quadrotor technology has been demonstrated by this group. Previous videos that stunned the world showed the nano quadcopters literally move around objects and build complex architectural forms from programmed blueprints. It’s certainly not a far leap to see this technology quickly adapted by drone technology of the US Air Force or other Military groups to perform maneuvers, reconnaissance or other danger missions like attacks and espionage.
Don’t worry though, for now you’ll always know when the nano quadcopters or as the lab team calls them, nano quadrotors, are approaching. The loud hum sounds like swarm of bees the more nano quadrotors there are in formation. Just slight turns and dips make such loud buzzing sounds that you’ll be sure to know when to run for you lives. If the terrifying hum of these UAV nano copters gets you excited, we’ve provided even more footage of quadcopters accomplishing all kinds of Hollywood quality tasks.
Another quadrotor experiment that was done recently in the ETH Flying Machine Arena. This nano quadrotor experiment shows that these machines can actually juggle with intelligence built in without a human pilot operator. This demonstration is by Mark Müller, Sergei Lupashin and Raffaello D’Andrea. The most common question about the following video is if the quadrotors are controlled by an operator. This is not human-piloted (please see the overview video). The vehicles/ball are tracked by an overhead motion capture system and controlled by a pair of computers.
Here is the overview video of the ETH Flying Machine Arena. This will better explain the second video above where the juggling takes place so you can understand how the computers are controlling the nanobots. These nano rotor helicopters can perform amazing feats but as you can see they are not controlled by intelligence inside of each unit but from external computers. This video overview of the ETH Flying Machine Arena (FMA) is the shown as it was in 2010. The FMA is an indoor 1000-cubic meter volume dedicated for research in autonomous systems and aerial robotics. It’s located in Zurich, Switzerland.
This next demonstration of the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) shows how well these quadrotors can maneuver in split seconds. The quadrotors can be seen attaching to surfaces like bugs at full speeds on surfaces from almost all angles. This quadrotor demonstration takes us back to the GRASP Laboratory at University of Pennsylvania where they show how these UAV’s can fly through windows, do double, triple flips and much more.