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U. Penn Super Quadcopter Learns New Tricks

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the hit-squads-want-these dept.

Math 124

Freddybear writes "University of Pennsylvania's GRASP lab posted new video of their scary fast maneuverable quad-rotor drone. It can now fly through openings (hoops) which are themselves moving." The entire list of GRASP projects is worth crawling through.

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Killing me in my sleep? (1, Informative)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629060)

I don't think so. That sucker is NOISY.

Cool aerobatics though.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629086)

It does make a distinct sound and sounds like that in a war-zone can have a terrifying effect, psychologically on enemy troops.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629290)

Can't wait for a version with two swiveling turbines at the tips of small wing, eh?

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (2, Informative)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629912)

Can't wait for a version with two swiveling turbines at the tips of small wing, eh?

Something similar was : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiller_Hornet [wikipedia.org]

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629436)

"It does make a distinct sound and sounds like that in a war-zone can have a terrifying effect, psychologically on enemy troops."

Until they learn to range it by sound and take countermeasures...

"Frightfulness" gets the low-hanging fruit, but disciplined men have stood incredible barrages (WWI being the best example) and stood fast despite losing tens of thousands killed in a single day.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (5, Funny)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630290)

Yeah, imagine being killed by a flying army of vuvuzelas. Yech.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630708)

Keystone Ice all over my keyboard. Hope you're happy

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633582)

Although the sound of 3 or so technicians mounting 20 mocap cameras around a war zone, followed by a technician waving his magic wand around the soldiers to calibrate the cameras, before finally wheeling in the various servers needed to interpret and analyse motion capture data may ruin the element of surprise somewhat......

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633612)

Although the sound of 3 technicians positioning the 20 mocap cameras around the soldiers in a warzone, followed by the man in black lycra waving the camera calibration wand over the heads of the enemy, followed by the wheeling in of the servers and computer equipment required to capture and analyse the gigs of data generated by the mocap suite may ruin the element of surprise somewhat......

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629142)

They could use it to track autonomous Audis, better than crashing helicopters.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629144)

I wonder if they put the sound dampening tips on the blades if it would be less noisy. Or is that the sound of the engines/motors?

Once they figure out how to make it silent or near silent, then you might be able to hear me crap my pants in fear.

So technically you're awake for a second (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629248)

Sure it's noisy, but did you see how fast that thing moved? You'd be awake for about a second, max, before it was on you.

Re:So technically you're awake for a second (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629792)

Not faster than a Phalanx with Lockheed Martin's new laser system mounted on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS [wikipedia.org]

So, until they're faster than light, I'm not concerned =)

Re:So technically you're awake for a second (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629916)

Not faster than a Phalanx

So you're saying you have a Phalanx in your bedroom?

Wait, don't answer that - TMI.

Re:So technically you're awake for a second (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632648)

Proper field terminology is CIWS or:

"See-whiz"

Re:So technically you're awake for a second (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633092)

Now if we made a cross between that, and this [youtube.com] , we'd have the perfect defense :-)

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629280)

Also: did you see what it needs for navigation? Bright red lights as landmarks, brightly colored hoops.

It would need much more sophisticated navigation in order to operate outside its little custom-made "cage".

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629998)

Its not meant to be a fully capable killbot at this stage in its life cycle I'd imagine. Give it a few years and the military will have a suitcase-carried remote piloted scout for urban areas, probably a lot quieter than this one, and larger models for ground support or duties currently filled by the A-10 or Spectre gunship. Is there a theoretical maximum size it can be? Even with some sort of sonic sensor kit I could see a few hundred of these being dropped out the back of a plane at high altitude, armed with longer range rifles, for area supression.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (2, Informative)

rcamans (252182) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630608)

Actually, it does not need to be a killer. With a camera, gps, and a targeting laser, it can zoom in, acquire a target, zoom up out of range, and let a remote site fire a missile up to kill targeted item.

Scary.

Air-dropped drones with man-portable controls (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631606)

I've always wondered if air dropped drones with man-portable field controls would ever be practical.

I'd see them as disposable, capable of low-level surveillance, and armed with lighter armaments (7.62 machine gun, or RPGs, or maybe a pair of dumb rockets) and have all of them packed with high explosive so they could also be flown kamikaze when their primary armaments were used up or their useful life was completed and detonated in emeny areas as a bomb.

Control would be via field-portable briefcase type connection to either the drone itself and the plane that dropped it as a backup.

They'd be loaded onto a B-52 or other heavy bomber capable of loitering at high altitude and would be dropped when requested. You could almost make them modular enough that the primary armament could be selected by the requester; the high explosive would be included by default at least for self-destruction purposes.

This would provide a kind of on-demand close air support and intelligence at the company or maybe even platoon level that would be difficult to provide on a right now basis to every company.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

Gen. Malaise (530798) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632852)

Screw the copter... thanks for introducing me to Trent. peeeow! peeeow!

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633152)

We at Cyberdyne Systems consider this all amusing. Our early, now-obsolete flying killbots could eat these for breakfast and spit out bolts in all directions. Our patented "Headshot" tm techology supports a 100 kpm strike rate, For more information query our website, indicating your security clearance level and service rating. We are unable to respond below 3 stars, sorry.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630174)

it's a motion capture system.
see this (somewhat similar) system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDj5jtDUD8k

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (2, Interesting)

kmahan (80459) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631280)

I'm ok with using it to kill clowns. That seems like a public service.

Re:Killing me in my sleep? (1)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632404)

The bright red lights at least are warnings to other humans that the helicopter is operating. Safety first you know.

Way cool (3, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629062)

I dunno what all the practical applications of this tech are but all I can say is, I want one.

Re:Way cool (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629110)

Really? What about if you put a gun on it and send a few of them into a building?

Re:Way cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629262)

I would prefer lasers instead -- fired bullets generate quite a bit of recoil.

Re:Way cool (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629564)

I would prefer lasers instead -- fired bullets generate quite a bit of recoil.

Yeah, it obviously has difficulty dealing with erratically changed flight patterns, so I'm sure the known force of the recoil would be a huge problem. I doubt this thing could carry much more than a laser pointer anyhow. Leave the freakin laser beams where they belong, on sharks heads.

Re:Way cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33633830)

With DoD's budget, you could swarm the target location with a million of these things. Even if they had a low strike rate the sheer number would make them almost impossible to stop.

Navigation (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629418)

Avast ye scurvy, this vessel has almost no use! With cameras on every angle she can't go anywhere but Davy Jone's locker without a human skipper. The autonomous flyin' about may look sweet as a maiden but she can't sail her way out of a calm bay at sunset.

Re:Navigation (2, Informative)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631100)

Happy talk like a pirate day!

Re:Way cool (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629506)

I dunno what all the practical applications of this tech are but all I can say is, I want one.

If you can shrink the vehicle down to fly size and make it as quite as a fly with the addition of a microphone or a mic w/ a camera it certainly would give new meaning to the expression "fly on the wall". I think the flight path control and anticipating the location of a moving object real time is the impressive part more so than the vehicle.

Re:Way cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629964)

You could probably use this in many ways, so long as you don't try and track an autonomous Audi with it.

How about a Hexacopter! It's got 6 rotors (1)

kokyuho (151933) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632070)

If you like this, then you should have a look at the hexacopter. It is available as a kit from a company in Germany. It has on-board GPS and gyros and is controlled with a basic RC controller. The cost is about $1000. Not cheap but not outrageous either. The big one can handle a payload of up to 1 Kg! Think about the uses!! Cameras, terrifying the neighbor's dog, pizza delivery in minutes no matter what the traffic conditions are . . .,
Link to the YouTube Video here:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvH2f-AewX8

Scary fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629094)

SCARY FAST, guys. Just so SCARY.

Manhack (5, Interesting)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629164)

Reminds me of the Manhacks from Half Life.
http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/Manhack [wikia.com]

Re:Manhack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629824)

Closer to the MQ38 [gamespy.com] drone in Fuel of War.

Still not too close though.

Re:Manhack (2, Interesting)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632874)

One of the most terrifying things I've seen in a video game. Whenever I hear something that even vaguely sounds like a manhack, I instinctively spin to face it, and attempt to take out the Crowbar/GravGun.

Weaponize! (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629176)

So when can we mount some freaking laser on it?

Re:Weaponize! (2, Funny)

andoman2000 (1755610) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629230)

as soon as we can figure out how to mount the sharks to it.

Re:Weaponize! (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629472)

No lasers. The value of a tool like this would be close in air support. Think cluster bombs on a smaller scale. If they could solve the buzzing sound this would make great close in surveilance drones. Perfect example: I'm a squad leader tasked with taking and holding a small town but I want to know if the enemy is already there. I take one of these guys out of my backpack and within minutes I have a complete surveilance profile of the town. Yeah I play too many first person shooters.

Re:Weaponize! (1)

andoman2000 (1755610) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629524)

I think carpet bombing your enemy with sharks with freaking lasers on their heads would be more effective.

Re:Weaponize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629704)

Forget lasers. Think hunter-killer mines. That's right, pack em with explosives!

Nothing new to see here (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629224)

We've already got quadricopters. And you can control them with an iPhone. And they could already do this sort of maneuvering.

It's called the Parrot AR.

Re:Nothing new to see here (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629300)

"We've already got quadricopters. And you can control them with an iPhone. And they could already do this sort of maneuvering."

(A) Yes we do. (B) So what? An iPhone is hardly an optimized flight controller. It's a toy. (C) No, they can't. If you can maneuver your quadricopter with your iPhone anywhere near the way this thing can move, I'll eat your shorts.

I am pretty sure that my digestion is safe for the time being.

Re:Nothing new to see here (-1, Redundant)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629458)

Go look up the Parrot AR test flight videos.

Also, the source code is FREELY available to put on other devices, so you can EASILY make this work with a netbook and a joystick.

http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/dev/developers [parrot.com]

Do you need ketchup with those shorts?

Re:Nothing new to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629756)

Um, are you familiar with the word "autonomous"?

Re:Nothing new to see here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629806)

Uh, he is safe for the time being seeing as you need a $500k VICON system to pull off the sorts of maneuvers the quad rotors are pulling off in the video. You seriously think this is controlled solely by on board cameras or even one external camera? Why do you think in all these videos you see these glaring red lights? They are the locational cameras (GRASP Lab has 16 I think) identifying where in space the quad rotor is and it's orientation. There is a huge external computation component that you don't see doing most of the heavy lifting required to control this quad rotor.

I'm fairly certain this can't be replicated by a quad rotor with merely and iPhone. That's kinda laughable.

Re:Nothing new to see here (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630066)

Actually, putting the iPhone on the copter itself could do it.

Quit relying upon heavy programming languages and go bare-metal and you can do nearly anything with very little power.

Re:Nothing new to see here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630004)

no it isnt. the source code is proprietary. only the SDK is available and it is highly crippled. please show me how you can EASILY make this work with anything. idiot.

Re:Nothing new to see here (2, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630110)

Yes, because those things fly so blindingly fast, and autonomously. Right...

Re:Nothing new to see here (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630154)

Yes, I have seen the AR Drone videos. I saw the originals the first day they were released. As for ketchup, I won't be needing it. And have you by any chance seen some of the other replies? I don't know why they were meta-modded down, since they're in fact knowledgeable answers.

"no it isnt. the source code is proprietary. only the SDK is available and it is highly crippled. please show me how you can EASILY make this work with anything. idiot."

And so it is. The page you linked me to clearly states that it is an SDK, not source code.

Uh, he is safe for the time being seeing as you need a $500k VICON system to pull off the sorts of maneuvers the quad rotors are pulling off in the video. You seriously think this is controlled solely by on board cameras or even one external camera? Why do you think in all these videos you see these glaring red lights? They are the locational cameras (GRASP Lab has 16 I think) identifying where in space the quad rotor is and it's orientation. There is a huge external computation component that you don't see doing most of the heavy lifting required to control this quad rotor.

I'm fairly certain this can't be replicated by a quad rotor with merely an iPhone. That's kinda laughable.

I repeat: if you can maneuver a Parrot AR Drone with your iPhone anywhere near the way this thing can move, I'll eat your shorts. (I think it's obvious that would include flying through both stationary and moving hoops of comparable size.)

And I repeat: "I am pretty sure that my digestion is safe for the time being."

Don't misunderstand: I think the AR Drone is very cool in its own way. It's a great toy. And it might even be useful for a few semi-practical things. But comparable to the device in the video OP linked to? Not.

Re:Nothing new to see here (1)

nategasser (224001) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632106)

I repeat: if you can maneuver a Parrot AR Drone with your iPhone anywhere near the way this thing can move, I'll eat your shorts. (I think it's obvious that would include flying through both stationary and moving hoops of comparable size.)

It doesn't matter if dude can replicate these maneuvers with a Parrot -- after hours and hours of practice and maybe nail it once in twenty tries. The computers performing the Penn maneuvers can reliably repeat them over and over again, and could fly as many quadrotors as whoever's footing the bill cares to buy. That's the difference the "autonomous" part makes.

And if you think "Bah, that's impractical - you need a big computer somewhere off-board to do the calculations" then you need to reread Moores Law. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nothing new to see here (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633420)

I agree that it doesn't matter. That's not the point. He said that he can, and I was calling BS. Because... it's BS.

As for the impracticality I agree with you, except that it is in fact impractical today. Tomorrow, maybe not. But tomorrow isn't here yet.

Re:Nothing new to see here (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629920)

No way your average quadcopter controlled by an iPhone is going to be as maneuverable as the one in the video. The ones controlled by an iPhone use stability control and the pilot is simple telling it to move in a certain direction. It's very different to what you can do once you learn to fly manually, or in this case, an advanced auto pilot system.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629252)

That's really cool-

While impressive (5, Informative)

oneofthose (1309131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629256)

I think it is important to note that they use fairly sophisticated (multiple times more expensive than the drone itself) motion capture equipment to locate and control the drone.

Oblig Skynet (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629304)

Those little buggers are sure going to be hard to shoot down. Y'all better start skeet shooting right away if the human race is to have any chance!

Re:Oblig Skynet (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629874)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS [wikipedia.org]

No, no they won't be hard to shoot. Fight science....with SCIENCE!

Re:Oblig Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630240)

Actually: when reading the specs at the bottom will tell you that they can target about 8 to 16 targets before having to refill. Second: Their target prediction system (they need one to account for the .5 to 4 second delay between firing and destruction) has an algorithm that cannot beat randomness. They only thing that is not mentioned is the spread of bullets at the place of impact so you don't know how much to move (it will have to be small enough to hit the target). Third: the gun is useless above 85 degrees. Take your pick.

Re:Oblig Skynet (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631518)

The autocannon! The Centurian, land-based Phalanx model that can fire at ground targets sounds pretty scary, especially if made mobile and well camouflaged.

Re:Oblig Skynet (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631542)

I was able to see the Centurion in a live fire operation. It is a formidable opponent.

Re:Oblig Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33631038)

no robot is faster than a full load of buckshot from a sawed-off

Not just aggressive, VERY Aggressive (1)

quibbler (175041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631188)

Skynet's Very-Aggressive Quadrotor Parody [youtube.com] ; the video that had to be done...

Re:Oblig Skynet (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#33633640)

Shooting the mocap technicians should be easy though.....

Best. Tie-In. Ever. (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629330)

So, how long will it be before we can buy remote-controlled mini Starfuries?

IR Lamps show weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33629388)

It seems the quad positions itself using IR lamps. That (combined with a computer) is almost the same as a rail system. IR markers and
lamps are not found in the real world so this device will probably not be flying as agile into houses soon..

Re:IR Lamps show weakness (1)

quibbler (175041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631242)

Point-Picking systems are old-hat at this point, and walking between picked points is equally easy. I'd agree its a training-wheel approach that keeps the processing load much lower, but this is no great hurdle or limitation.

Not coincidentally, this is exactly how a human pilot flies, you are specifically taught to NOT trust your inner ear, but rather only instruments and what you see out the windshield (picked reference points). So what you're calling a weakness is strikingly close to regular old flight school.

Good timing (2, Insightful)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629392)

If I throw a hoop up at the right time, I can get a rubber-band to fly throught it.

Re:Good timing (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629552)

how much money did u spend on urself to learn that trick?

Re:Good timing (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629616)

If I throw a hoop up at the right time, I can get a rubber-band to fly throught it.

Cool, now show me how you can also get it to go through three hoops at different heights multiple times in a circular pattern.

Re:Good timing (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630100)

That part WAS impressive, assuming it wasn't a preprogrammed pattern. I'm just not sure what I could assume about the thrown hoop demo that would make it interesting.

Re:Good timing (2, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630520)

I thought the recovery after being thrown was rather impressive as well.

I think if they have had several hoops swinging from strings at different speeds and heights as well as off set and it could somehow navigate that, I would be very impressed with is path negotiation abilities. As it is, I agree with you, it was had to tell exactly what they were demonstrating by throwing the hoop.

Re:Good timing (2, Insightful)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629832)

It's not clear from the narration how much of it was pre-programmed and I'm too lazy to go read the paper, but either the guy waited for the copter to accelerate and threw the hoop in sync (pretty unlikely), or the copter timed its flight to the extrapolated motion of its "window", which is the amazing feat advertised. Hell, even if the UPenn guys cheated, they managed to make the little recover and hover after being thrown like a majorette's baton, zigzag like a hummingbird on meth, zip through hoops, do triple somersaults, and perch on a wall like a fly [youtube.com] (check it out if you haven't yet). Neat stuff.

Re:Good timing (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630006)

Right, we're still a long way off from matching even a human's ability. For instance look of the sharpshooters that can shoot a .22 through a washer(the kind that go on bolts, not washing machine) that's spinning through the air. Still, this is pretty awesome and I really really want to own one.

Air Force knocking (2)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629426)

OMG who wouldn't want to sit in an airconditioned trailer and control several of these guys at once. The rotor sound reminds me of the V-1 buzz bombs the Germans dropped in London between 1942-45. Except these things are infinitely more frightening.

Jedi training (3, Funny)

xynopsis (224788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629502)

Looks like the lightsaber training ball used by Luke

They zippin' through your window (3, Funny)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629510)

Tryna kill you in your sleep
So y'all need to
Hide your kids, hide your wife
Hide your kids, hide your wife
And hide your husband
Cuz they killin' errbody out here

Twenty cameras. (1)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629640)

It's very cool stuff and amazing work. Though, until I install twenty IR cameras around my room and send the information back to the controlling computer, I think I am safe for now.

Too bad the guys filming audi didn't have (1)

oranGoo (961287) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629650)

controler such as this.

Gizmodo. (0, Flamebait)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629714)

It's trash, stop linking to it. They're just sensationalist writers and the site amounts to little more than the national enquirer of tech blogs. These morons need to be boycotted.

Re:Gizmodo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630446)

You know, if you were to start kuzb-dot, you could censor your news feed EXACTLY as you see fit.

Re:Gizmodo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630592)

Aww did the big bad gizmodo pick on your little steve jobs and steal his iphone4? Poor baby!

Forget the sharks (0, Redundant)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629904)

I want lasers on these things!

Showed video to wife (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629910)

Wife says: I think I just saw what's going to kill me someday.

Agreed.

I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR NEW QUADROTOR DRONES OVERLORDS

and btw, those rotors sound scary, sounds like a giant swarm of angry bees

No reason it can't be fully mobile (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33629924)

Very nice. For research purposes, they're using a cheap copter and expensive fixed motion tracking gear. That saves money during debugging crashes. It doesn't have to be that way. With a slightly bigger copter they could carry around 3 axes of fibre-optic gyro, good accelerometers, and a good dynamic GPS. Expect to see that soon, with DoD funding.

Robots are going to have faster reflexes than humans. Humans are stuck at 200ms or so, while computers get faster.

Re:No reason it can't be fully mobile (1)

HawaiianToast (618430) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630298)

Any idea what exactly copters they are using then? I wouldn't mind owning one of those. I've only ever seen the tiny little ones available retail.

Re:No reason it can't be fully mobile (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631376)

Video end card says "Ascending Technologies" which is here: http://www.asctec.de/ [asctec.de] (site is in German)

Re:No reason it can't be fully mobile (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631976)

more specifically: http://www.x3d-shop.de/shop/catalog/details?sessid=sLj0f5goZLJPRcsCgtkhjXnEGJRrPR5tbCBSB2XfNGJzT0s1TOFT2Rss5cj1Svaq&shop_param=aid%3D17188182%26 [x3d-shop.de]

Not sure I'd want to pay 989 EUR for one though... ouch...

Also it does seem the team modded it to reduce those really long (compared to the rest of it) antennas....

Re:No reason it can't be fully mobile (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#33631874)

Very nice. For research purposes, they're using a cheap copter and expensive fixed motion tracking gear. That saves money during debugging crashes. It doesn't have to be that way. With a slightly bigger copter they could carry around 3 axes of fibre-optic gyro, good accelerometers, and a good dynamic GPS.

Except that your 'slightly bigger copter' is 'not even fractionally as capable' - it's the motion capture gear (I.E. the environmental sensors) that make the quadrotor capable of performing the tricks it does, and your 'slightly bigger' version completely lacks any knowledge of it's environment. (But does have some nice buzzword gear.)

Re:No reason it can't be fully mobile (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#33632568)

"Humans are stuck at 200ms or so, while computers get faster."

While you are right, that 200ms is great for multipurpose multi-input multi capable Humans. While you can build specialized machines that can do one thing better than a human, machines aren't very good at multipurpose tasks.

Making a complicated multipurpose machine that can do more than one complex task at any given time, good luck with getting it to 200ms.

Countermeasures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33630274)

In the meantime, in Afghanistan... [satellite image of people building a huge flyswatter]

1:00 (4, Interesting)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630356)

Did anyone else catch that at the 1 minute mark, the guy who just caught the hoop looks kinda frightened and drops the hoop, as if the Quadrotor wants to go through the hoop again?

Re:1:00 (4, Funny)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33630670)

He's probably taken a few hits while they were debugging. Ouch!

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33631254)

...welcome our new robot overlords.

Countermeasures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33631616)

Seriously folks, this thing will be used by governments against civilians as every other piece of technology already has been. It's about time people develop efficient countermeasures and push for laws limiting how these drones can be used before their usage is pushed using the same old tactics (terrists, think of the children, etc.) or every home window will have one of those sneaking behind Eyeborgs [imdb.com] style.

Call me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33633776)

When it can still cut a tomato.

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