It’s rare for me to find a video that makes me smile with absolute awe; but tonight folks I have found just that. The University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab have been the stars of the Quadrotor scene, by first showing the extremities of quadrotor flight, and now with this perfectly executed musical number #007. The video was revealed to the world yesterday at the TED2012 conference based in California.
Here’s your debriefing on how they managed to make it all come together: Firstly, the room was heavily equipped with infrared lights and cameras, which was used to get an exact barring on where each quadrotor was. The data received was then relayed wirelessly back to the machines to make them aware of their own location, and of their flying comrades.
All the Quadrotors were programmed to follow three-dimensional waypoints, which they had to reach at precise moments in time. Even though the coordinates had been programmed by skilled operators, it was entirely up to each robot to figure out a way to reach it’s appointed waypoints on time, and without disturbing the rest of the mechanical orchestra. I can’t wait for what else they’ll dish out in the future!