Flying autonomous robots perform James Bond theme

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, March 1, 2012 18:51 EDT
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Robot Quadrotors screengrab
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The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed flying robots — called quadrotors — that can autonomously perform a number of tasks, including using instruments to perform the James Bond theme song.

The quadrotors were programed to play the instruments and are not remote controlled.

“In this demonstration, the ‘stage’ is in a room fitted with infrared lights and cameras,” Penn’s Evan Lerner explained. “The nano quads all have reflectors on their struts, which allows the camera system to plot their exact position and relay that information wirelessly to each unit.”

“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 neighbors is up to the robots.”

The video below was presented at the TED2012 Conference on Thursday:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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