The Quadrotor Drone Learns Several Terrifying New Tricks

Illustration for article titled The Quadrotor Drone Learns Several Terrifying New Tricks

The last we checked in with U Penn's frighteningly maneuverable little quadrotor, we noted that it could probably zip through your window and kill you in your sleep. Well, now it can fly through windows while they're moving. Guhhh.

Yes, today U Penn's GRASP Lab posted the aptly titled "Aggressive Quadrotor Part II," showing off all of their drone's freaky new feats. It can buzz around in menacing circles, calculate an optimal path through several rings, and even squeeze through an opening that's on the move itself. That means it could fly through your window and kill you in your sleep if you were sleeping in a train's sleeper car. Nowhere is safe!

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Thankfully, we know that Daniel Mellinger and Vijay Kumar, the U Penn researchers behind the project, will only use their talented little bot for good. Like flying through supervillains' windows and killing them in their sleep. [YouTube - Thanks Voiding Warranties]

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DISCUSSION

Awesomeness. But still dependent on motion capture data, meaning all this is being sensed and computed on a computer, not the little aircraft. So basically you have a computer 'seeing' the room with the array of mocap heads you see at the top of the room, and using that data to pilot a little rc aircraft. Autonomous, but they are avoiding the incredibly difficult challenge of the aircraft computing it's own position, seeing it's environment, and making it's decisions onboard.