Quadcopters now have eagle-like talons to snatch prey — er, objects

Now that BigDog can throw concrete slabs like it's nobody's business, it would be a mistake to assume that the humble quadrotor isn't going through a similar evolution in form and function. Watch as this avian-inspired micro UAV uses its talons to snatch objects like an eagle. » 3/19/13 6:20am 3/19/13 6:20am

A synchronized routine of 49 quadrotors resembles urban…

We've seen some spectacular and ostentatious quadrotor "dances" before. But this understated group of quadrotors flying in formation for Ars Electronica's Voestalpine Klangwolke event in Linz, Austria is like a slightly loopy, earthbound constellation. [Via The Creators Project] » 9/05/12 3:40pm 9/05/12 3:40pm

From Russia, a flying model of the Helicarrier from The Avengers

We previously saw Russian quadrotor hobbyist Native118's take on the DeLorean from Back to The Future: Part II. Now, check out his models of both the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier from The Avengers and the Hunter-Killer Aerials from the Terminator films. The third clip — with the synthesizer score and smoke — hits me… » 8/20/12 2:40pm 8/20/12 2:40pm

This flying robot light show is the coolest thing you will see all day

Stop whatever you're doing right now and watch this. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, KMel Robotics — who previously worked on the James Bond theme à la quadrotors — and Marshmallow Laser Feast unveiled this live performance of whirring robots performing a dazzling light show. Words cannot… » 6/26/12 8:20am 6/26/12 8:20am

Flying model of the DeLorean from Back to the Future 2 takes the skies …

Russian quadrotor enthusiast Native118 — who previously dolled one up one of these machines as the Dragon C-21 gunship from Avatar — has built an RC model of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future: Part II. It's certainly impressive, but I will not sleep until one of you converts your entire house into Biff … » 3/12/12 5:45am 3/12/12 5:45am

You never anticipated seeing a flying robot swarm perform the James…

Unless you work at the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Laboratory, that is. When they're not building miniature sculptures or reenacting Space Invaders, the little bots are composing music for martini hour. » 2/29/12 5:15pm 2/29/12 5:15pm

A real-life swarm of flying robots, right out of a 1980s arcade game

The quadrotors of the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Laboratory are all sorts of amazing (even when they're crashing). But this new footage of these futuristic bots hearkens back to something more retro — the pixelated shooters of arcades yore. » 2/01/12 6:45am 2/01/12 6:45am

A group of flying robots construct a 20-foot-tower, from beginning to…

Remember that autonomous swarm of drones that built a 20-foot-tall indoor tower in Orléans, France? The FRAC Centre has now released a start-to-finish reel of the quadrotors completing the tower. You can watch the entire process above, fast-fowarded quite a bit. » 12/24/11 2:35pm 12/24/11 2:35pm

Watch a fleet of flying robots assemble a 20-foot indoor tower

On December 2 in Orléans, France, a crew of four quadrocopters assembled a six-meter-tall tower using 1,500 foam blocks as part of the FRAC Centre's "Flight Assembled Architecture" exhibit. The project was a collaboration was helmed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, whose researchers had previously… » 12/03/11 8:05am 12/03/11 8:05am

Ground-based 'bots swarm to assemble a landing pad for their quadcopter …

We've seen plenty of quadcopters and plenty of follow-the-leader ‘bots, but this might be our first brush with follow-the-leader ‘bots that work together to build a mobile landing pad for a quadcopter while it's in flight. But that's not even the coolest part about this robotic system from the Georgia Robotics and… » 7/30/11 7:30am 7/30/11 7:30am

Watch an outtake reel of autonomous quadrotors crashing again and again

The University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab quadrotors are pretty jazzy when they do work, but know that they don't always fly on the first try. Here's GRASP's collection of America's Funniest Heli-Drone Home Videos. » 7/02/11 12:30pm 7/02/11 12:30pm