A real-life swarm of flying robots, right out of a 1980s arcade game

The quadrotors of the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Laboratory are all sorts of amazing (even when they're crashing). But this new footage of these futuristic bots hearkens back to something more retro — the pixelated shooters of arcades yore.


GRASP's engineers taught a group of miniature nano-quadrotors to fly in rectangular formations. I can picture a phalanx of these buggers someday roaming the skies, each armed individually with a taser or scimitar or some other implement of unpleasantry. Their only weakness? A bazooka that shoots quarters.

[Via Technabob]



I was about to make the obligatory, "I for one welcome our new...." when a thought occurred to me.

If an AI suddenly develops and decides to take over the world, it won't have to destroy us, it will simply need to entertain us. I have watched the above video 3 times because it is memorizing seeing the little robots fly in formation. Our AI overlord won't have to be an agent of destruction, but simply an artificial P.T. Barnum. We will sit on our couches like good little sheep and let the computers regal us.