Coordinated Swarms of Quadrotors

The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania is developing algorithms to control swarms of quadrotors, also known as quadcopters or quadricopters.

Their research group has some amazing videos of quadrotors in coordinated flight, and quadrotors working together to perform a coordinated construction task. The GRASP lab is involved in numerous other projects that are worth checking out.

Here is a video of quadrotors in coordinated flight:

Here they perform a construction task:

The latter video was featured on The Colbert Report.
Amazing work (and a little creepy!)


Please Don’t Let that Robot Rescue Me!

Robot’s Everywhere has a post where they show the following picture of a Tokyo Fire Department robot rescuing a dummy in a drill.

The robot appears to be dragging the victim up the ramp by his/her neck.

Very Nice!


This was #8 in a series of photos from a News in Photographs piece.   The caption there reads:

Tokyo Fire Department’s rescue robot transfers a mock victim onto itself during an anti-terrorism exercise in the response to a radiological dispersal device in Tokyo, on November 7, 2008. Tokyo Metropolitan government conducted the exercise with eleven organisations including Metropolitan Police Department. (TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

Robots to Clean Ship Hulls

European researchers are working on an EU-funded project called HISMAR (Hull Identification System for Marine Autonomous Robotics) to develop a robotic hull cleaning system to remove marine growth from ships. Marine growth significantly increases the friction of a ship moving through water, which significantly increases the cost in terms of energy. In addition, marine growth poses an environmental hazard.

More at Robots Everywhere

Kevin Knuth
Albany NY

Phoenix from Space

Two great images from the HiRISE camera!

This is the Phoenix probe parachuting into Mars’ north polar region from orbit with Heimdall Crater in the background.  A larger image can be seen at Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Phoenix parachuting in

This image shows the Phoenix probe on the ground.

 Phoenix imaged from Mars orbit

At this point, a camera under Phoenix may have found a hard icy substrate underlying the topsoil (story here).

Kevin Knuth
Albany NY