Autonomous drones

Farhad Manjoo describes what a team at the University of Pennsylvania is doing with autonomous drones – the team calls them quadrotors – I Love You, Killer Robots

The drones are very small, autonomous and extremely nimble. They can determine location of nearby drones.

Check out the drones as they fly through windows at various angles:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=MvRTALJp8DM]

They can be programmed to work together. In one of the videos linked in the article, a team of 3 drones work together to build a tower.

The article concludes:

Over the last few months, as drones have become easier to make and to buy, they’ve raised privacy alarms. People are using them to monitor traffic, spy on celebrities, take aerial real estate photos, and—thanks to a new federal law that legalizes their flight—almost certainly in a variety of law enforcement missions. The nano drones’ two key features—extreme agility and instant swarming—would seem to raise the stakes in this debate.

Here’s one way this gets really weird – – put a tiny camera on the quadrotor and you have an autonomous surveillance system.

Astounding. Check out the article for links to six different videos.

Where is this taking us? Other than into uncharted territory, who knows?

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