Brilliant Minds At Georgia Working On Swarming Drones
Georgia Tech’s robotics lab has been working on keeping swarms of quadcopters flying in a tight formation. Although it would not seem important, those of you who love big events featuring holograms, a Superbowl halftime show and such should definitely keep an eye on what comes next.
A group of quadcopters executing maneuvers in close proximity sounds cool, but it is more difficult to achieve than you’d think. For the flying machines to crash or collide one with another would be a disaster, which is why researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found a way to avoid such issues.
They’ve developed a virtual bumper area around each drone, thus preventing them from touching. Each copter now benefits from a little “top hat” of space above, preventing it from going underneath another drone and get caught up in its airflow. A set of algorithms gives the drones the ability to quickly maneuver out of the way when they detect another robot in their proximity.
Another team at the lab is currently working on finding ways for autonomous blimps to detect and react to human faces and hand gestures. Why? Well, according to recent research, slow-moving blimps are more approachable and may someday take the place of store greeters. That sounds like a bleak and somewhat anti-social future.