UPenn Prof Vijay Kumar unveils “Self Guided Agile Flying Robots” which Swoop and Swarm together

Last updated on Mar 4, 2012

Posted on Mar 4, 2012

Vijay Kumar at TED

University of Pennsylvania professor Vijay Kumar showcased a set of autonomous, agile and decentralized flying robots which can not only do maneuvers that are difficult for any machine but also communicate between themselves to not only fly in formations but also do complex tasks of lifting stuff many times their wait.  Interestingly, the robots used the principle that is used in nature by the desert ants.

The innovative robots can fly around together and do tasks without any need for GPS.  They use a complex 12 dimensional coordinate system that is translated back and forth into 4-dimensional space in amazing speed.

Kumar also explained the likely use of these “agile flying robots”:

“They can be sent in buildings as first responders to look for intruders or check for biochemical leaks..into collapsed buildings after disasters or into reactor buildings to check radiation levels,”

What he didn’t talk about was the use of these small flying robots for military uses.  They could be, some say, used for self-guided small drones, well into the enemy territory.  Given their small size, it will be fairly tough to even identify them easily.

Check out the TED seminar by Vijay Kumar.

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