Amazing Robot Quadrotors Perform James Bond Theme

Remember the Swarm of Nano Quadrotors video I posted last month?

Well, on Wednesday, Feb. 29, Deputy Dean for Education at Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab member Vijay Kumar presented a video at TED2012 conference of the flying robot Nano Quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the guitar.

The flying Nano Quadrotors are completely autonomous. They are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the musical instruments without human interventions.

As seen in the video above, the “stage” is in a room fitted with infrared lights and cameras. The Nano Quadrotors all have reflectors on their struts, which allows the camera system to plot their exact position and relay that information wirelessly to each unit.

GRASP Lab members can then assign each unit a series of waypoints in three-dimensional space that must be reached at an exact time. In this case, those times and places translate into notes on a keyboard or a strum of a guitar. Figuring out how to get from waypoint to waypoint most efficiently and without disturbing their neighbours is up to the robots.

The engineers from Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, have formed a company called KMel Robotics that will design and market these Quadrotors.

Read more on Penn’s website.

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