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Robotics Technology

Self-Assembling Multi-Copter Demonstrates Networked Flight Control 48

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-the-swarm dept.
cylonlover writes "Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated an amazing capability for small robots to self-assemble and take to the air as a multi-rotor helicopter. Maximilian Kriegleder and Raymond Oung worked with Professor Raffaello D'Andrea at his research lab to develop the small hexagonal pods that assemble into flying rafts. The true accomplishment of this research is that there is not one robot in control – each unit in itself decides what actions to take to keep the group in the air in what's known as Distributed Flight Array."
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Self-Assembling Multi-Copter Demonstrates Networked Flight Control

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  • by Max_W (812974) on Monday July 22, 2013 @11:27AM (#44351191)
    I am an amateur pilot of a quadrocopter and a cartographer of www.osm.org . A battery is not the way to go. It lasts 10 - 12 minutes.

    The same about wi-fi; it is 50 - 70 meters into the air and "signal is lost".

    To send a satellite into the space for cartography costs millions. But a stable quadrocopter with a cable of 1 kilometer or at least 500 meters would allow to make aero-imagery suitable for cartography cheap and fast .

    Balloons with helium are messy and unstable.
  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Monday July 22, 2013 @11:39AM (#44351357)
    No. Each component represents and individual sensor array and its own individual main computer. They work and communicate as a team. From the freakin article:

    The individual vehicles of the Distributed Flight Array have fixed propellers that can lift them into the air, but the resulting flight is erratic and uncontrolled. Joined together, however, these relatively simple modules evolve into a sophisticated multi-propeller system capable of coordinated flight. The task of keeping the array in level flight is distributed across the network of vehicles. Vehicles exchange information and combine this information with their own sensor measurements to determine how much thrust is needed for the array to take-off and maintain level flight. If the array’s leveled flight is disturbed, each vehicle individually determines the amount of thrust required to correct for the disturbance based on its position in the array and the array’s motion.

    Consider reading my above comment Technology marches on [slashdot.org]. It leads with a suggestion specifically addressing those who don't RTFA - take a look and follow the advice.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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