We welcome the swarm of autonomous hovering robot overlords being made by students at Humboldt University. The goal of this project is to build an autonomous hovering platform that is controlled via adapted insect behavior. Navigation comes from monitoring real time inputs, such as air pressure and optical sensors, not by predefined paths and GPS coordinates. Some examples of this adapted behavior are: navigation via polarized sun light like African ants, and optical flow similar to bees.
You can see the platforms in action on Spiegel Online, but unless you understand German, you won’t get much else out of it.
If any of this seems familiar, it’s because we covered CCCamp 2007, which was near Berlin and had some very similar quadcopters. While the large quadcopter platforms have been around for a while and are steadily coming down in price, there are some new alternatives out there that are quite tempting. Anyone want to build some autonomy into this little baby?