How-To Geek

Quadrotor Robots Master Flying in Formation [Video]

If you thought a single quadrotor with some aggressive flying moves was spooky enough, wait until you see four of them flying in perfect formation.

The GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is doing some interesting work with UAV quadrotors–tiny four helicopter blade unmanned aerial machines that are as deft as hummingbirds. In the above video they’re demonstrating a new addition to the program, the ability of the quadcopters to fly in formation and maintain formation even when units are removed from the configuration. It’s an impressive display and more than a little unsettling (the hornet like humming of the group certainly doesn’t help matters).

Trajectory Design and Control for Aggressive Formation Flight with Quadrotors [YouTube via IEEE Spectrum]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/11/11

Comments (3)

  1. Hany

    OMG love it Guys Good Job ;-)

  2. Bri

    I fly R/C Heli’s and love some of the new technology that’s emerging from GPS location aware units with auto hover/way-point etc.. to onboard wifi cameras enabling a pilots eye view through a base station/glasses with in-built screens!

    Must admit that I’ve wanted have a go with a quad-copter for a while after watching these guys initial tests. Just might be tempted enough after watching this to go out and buy myself one :)

  3. Meyanna

    Wow that’s something cool! :)

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