Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania are designing autonomous flying robots called Nano Quadrotors.
The robots, equipped with a range of sensors, magnets and motion capture systems, are aware of each other’s physical locations and activities. This means the Nano Quadrotors are able to act both autonomously and in a coordinated way, as needed. So they can work together to complete tasks without human aid.
As researcher, Daniel Mellinger, points out:
“The ability to put a camera on board these vehicle and collect information [without ever having to put a human in harm’s way] is a very powerful one, particularly powerful in situations that are dangerous.”
Obvious applications are first-responder scenarios and military applications, but civilian and industrial uses may be in store for the Nano Quadrotors, as well.