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Skynet for Real: Organized Swarm of Nano Quadrocopters (Video)


What’s that? You thought the Parrot AR Drone was pretty cool? What if I told you that researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a squadron of quadrocopters that can organize themselves into a swarm, flying in formation and automatically evading obstacles? Yes, Skynet is here and I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

Developed by the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab (GRASP), these nano quadrocopters (or quadrotors, if you prefer) are able to fly in various complex formations, navigating through the environment with complex “autonomous swarm behavior.” The very sound of the swarm in the video below gives me chills.

I’m instantly reminded of Michael Crichton’s Prey. The thing with a swarm is that they have a “collective intelligence” of sorts, so it doesn’t matter if you take out one or two units from the group. They operate as a collective, making them virtually unstoppable. Where’s John Connor when you need him?

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About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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9 comments

  1. It’s impressive but what practical use are they?
    If it’s anything to do with war then I don’t want to know about it.

  2. This has nothing to do with nano technology, “nano” is the product name…

  3. This has nothing to do with nanotechnology.  As a nanochemist, I am seriously offended.  Nanochemistry is often seen as a “fad science”, and improper usage such as this only perpetuates that image.  Please, call them centi copters.

  4. what has this to do with nanotechnology? the chopters are centimeters in size..

  5. i was thinking when they going to make them for sale as love to try flying them!

  6. I wonder if a bunch of these could carry a single HD camera hanging down by some type of harness… now that would make for some cool photography

  7. that is really cool

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