Quadrocopters that can play catch with each other are providing a glimpse at the future of coordinated, autonomous drone technology. Their creators in Zurich say the copters have potential application in both the military and civilian worlds, with ever-improving technology that allows them to work as a well-coordinated team. Jim Drury reports.
UPSOT: DRONE ENGINE Working in unison, these robotic quadrocopters are at the forefront of a new era in drone technology. UPSOT: DRONE ENGINE The trio are linked together via computer algorithms to work as a team.....playing 'catch' better than some people. To toss the ball, the quadrocopters accelerate rapidly outward to stretch the net tight between them and launch the ball airwards. They're then pulled forcefully inward by the tension in the elastic net and must rapidly stabilise to avoid collision. UPSOT: DRONE ENGINE The algorithms were designed by programmers at ETH Zurich, one of the world's leading technological universities. They say their research is designed specifically for civilian use with well-coordinated teams of unmanned aircraft one day being used in surveying, architecture and construction.