Skip to comments.A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors
Posted on 02/04/2012 9:49:45 AM PST by Sprite518
Something tells me that the University of Pennsylvania is not in the toy business. Got to see this!
That said, they are a little freaky. Can you imagine those things weaponized?
You nailed it on the head! That’s exactly where these Smart Drones are going!
Looks like the military is going full Drones. I guess they are a lot cheaper than people. The only Civilian application I can see these things are as cops. It’s crazy to think about?
I’m having a tough time deciding which is more fascinating.
Mini quadrotors flying in formation, or a virtual cyber babe warning us about quadrotors flying in formation:
Gotta say she’s way hotter than Max Headroom. :D
This gets a lot wilder in a hurry.
While conventional formations like this are relatively easy to imagine, the goal of this is what is called “swarm technology”, which covers a heck of a lot of concepts.
1) Imagine hundreds of such devices flying in concert, yet avoiding collisions with each other and objects. They have a very complex formation, like a swarm of bees.
2) As a group they have one or more missions to accomplish, say with each of them carrying a small amount of high explosives, with each of dozens of targets getting a maximum of three collision explosions.
3) For a harder target, say an armored door or lid, 2 or three dozen may land and stick to it while others land. Then they detonate simultaneously.
4) Once outside of radio control, say in a cave or building, they become autonomous, with a seek out and destroy mission.
A lot of potential, here.
The flying car at last ?
This is probably our future military. I don’t know say 20 years from now.
Ping for later viewing.
Perhaps the microchips in these things might be used for future Smart cars?
Each video is less than 2 minutes.
Yep. She’s hot! I could handle being locked in an underground bunker with her.
I’m thinking maybe she’s more fascinating.
An almost perfect smile and squint after she says “conquer the world...”.
Someone’s done some pretty remarkable programming there. Seems the programmer has the capability for custom coding words and expressions quickly, to have already posted the Youtube response via the application with the virtual woman presenting concerns to us, based on the quadrotor video which is new.
Hat tip to the programmer. Impressive.
Imagine a flight of unmanned attack helicopters!
20 years? Who says it isn’t here now?
Theories as to how this is done?
Note the very bright lights on the video. Most digital cameras are sensitive to IR light, and those emitters are there for a reason. While the quadrotors obviously have an IMU onboard, low-cost IMUs have so much drift they could not hold precision for more than a few seconds, and there is no precision GPS inside buildings like this. My guess is the craft are all controlled within a virtual reality space that is created by video cameras lining the walls. In other words, a very cool demo but not something you can scale up to work outdoors, etc, without bringing in a new form of spacial location technology.
Found this article that partially confirms my theory and shows what’s next:
Future experiments will replace the “indoor motion capture systems” with an on-board GPS with onboard GPS having 10-20cm accuracy and develop compensation for wind, RF interference etc. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen!
This might be one of my most favorite Onion videos.
There was a movie like this a few years ago.
No I did not and thanks! The applications for this technology is huge!
Perhaps these could these be used to imtimidate and disperse OWS protestors ? Maybe they could be programmed to fly over and form the words, "Get a Job!"
That’s it’s exactly what they are thinking.
As we keep adding more Drones to our military I’ve heard people will slowly fade away. Eventually (Say 50 years from now) it will be the robots repairing the robots with very few people in the military.
This is all good as long as it not used against us.
Oh it’s here, but I’m talking about a military that is primary robots with smart chips.
Did you see this?
Perfect for biowarfare agent dispersal, especially to target small groups.
“My guess is the craft are all controlled within a virtual reality space that is created by video cameras lining the walls. “
I think you are 100% correct. There were several cameras lining those walls. I suspect they are tracking each drone using techniques not unlike the Playstation Move. Each drone probably has a different color LED on it for tracking purposes. Either that or they’re using stereo cameras and disparity maps.
To scale it up for outdoor use, you’d have to replace the optical tracking with something like GPS. That would add to power requirements and sacrifice only a bit of precision.
None of my statements intended to belittle they’re accomplishment. I can’t stop watching this video! I’m downright amazed :-)!!!! I’d love to make something like this into a real-life Space Invaders game :-)!
Three human shaped RC planes were flown around New York City 1/30/12
Even the slightest breeze would cause major crackups.
Its all a matter of power, as with any model aircraft.
Give the thing enough power and it should be able to handle whatever weather it needs to. These things can surely be scaled up.
The software can be made to maintain stability in a breeze.
Well they are adjusting for that issue too in the link below.
Keep in mind these are prototypes/Blue Prints/Foundation of smart drones.
Here is the link that addresses that,
How about package delivery?
That is interesting thanks!
Thanks but the helicopter does not have a smart chip in it or can’t go flips.
That is a major consideration. You’ll note in the video that the quadrator did flips, yet did not lose its stability and was able to maintain its relative position.
Check this older video out. It’s from 2 years ago.
The top secret submarine detector on US naval surface vessels was later sold in the consumer market as a “Fish Finder”.
I guess someone with the knowledge wanted to make some money off of it? Unbelievable!
“These things can surely be scaled up.”
They are NANO. Meant to be small. I fly these small quads and helicopters and they are tossed around by any wind because they weight next to nothing. It is one thing to fly solo in the wind, but in formation they would wipe each other out.
The point I see here isn’t necessarily that they can be programmed to fly in formation; it is that this is the degree of control and maneuverability that the software can provide.
A scaled-up system, bigger, heavier, and sufficiently powerful could surely be made to fly outdoors in any weather, able to follow a waypoint path perhaps, for surveillance, guarding, or even as an offensive weapon system. It seems to me that they could be effective even in built-up areas, with the addition of some way to detect obstacles they could semi-autonomously avoid them.
We are truly on the cusp (hopefully not a precipice) of a brave new world.