Robots? Cool. Swarming Flying Robots? Very Cool.

Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

Robots? Cool. Swarming Flying Robots? Very Cool.

Whoa. If you harbor any fear of swarms of multiple robots flying in formation, avoiding obstacles, then this YouTube video might not be for you.

If on the other hand you think this is really fascinating and a great example of what the future holds, well then the video will be really, really cool.

The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) lab at UPenn is conducting research using a series of nano quadrotors developed by KMel Robotics. Until now, the GRASP team had been able to showcase the robots flying "aggressively" meaning they could land on angled surfaces and navigate obstacles at high speed.

As evident in the video, the small copters can change direction, land, navigate past obstacles, and even fly in a figure-eight formation based on preprogrammed commands.

The applications of such swarming robot technology are many: military reconnaissance, search and rescue, and more.

Of course, when they’re not busy scooting around in preprogrammed figure-eight patterns, the quadrotors can actually autonomously build structures as shown in this video.

Someday findings based on this research might be used to build structures in environments that are hazardous or too extreme for humans.

For more information on what other GRASP groups at UPENN are up to, check out the highlights on the school’s current research page.

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