Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have programmed a band of tiny robot quadrotors to play the James Bond theme song. What’s the point? The accomplishment is that the scientists managed to prevent the flying robots from crashing into obstacles or each other. Plus, it’s pretty darn cool.
The performance includes each of the several quadrotors performing a specific task, whether it’s plunking a note on a keyboard, strumming a guitar, or hitting a cymbal. They all operate autonomously based on programming code they received. The project involved sophisticated processes like syncing up all the robots so they performed their functions at perfectly precise times.
In the room where the performance took place, there were infrared cameras and lights spread throughout. “The nano quads all have reflectors on their struts, which allows the camera system to plot their exact positions 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,” the university stated in a press release.