Nothing like a good fun diversion for the day. Thanks to the Wired Twitter feed and TED 2012 today I saw this YouTube video of autonomous quadrotor copters that worked together to play the James Bond 007 theme music.
I love when engineers use creative, fun, and entertaining methods to demonstrate technology.
This is engineering folks!
Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame. The quadrotors play this "couch guitar" by flying over guitar strings stretched across a couch frame; plucking the strings with a stiff wire attached to the base of the quadrotor. A special microphone attached to the frame records the notes made by the "couch guitar".
These flying quadrotors are completely autonomous, meaning humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.
Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to some of the most innovative robotics research on the planet, much of it coming out of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab.
This video premiered at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California on February 29, 2012. Deputy Dean for Education and GRASP lab member Vijay Kumar presented some of this groundbreaking work at the TED2012 conference, an international gathering of people and ideas from technology, entertainment, and design.
The engineers from Penn, Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, have formed a company called KMel Robotics that will design and market these quadrotors.
More information: http://www.upenn.edu/spotlights/penn-quadrotors-ted
Video Produced and Directed by Kurtis Sensenig
Quadrotors and Instruments by Daniel Mellinger, Alex Kushleyev and Vijay Kumar
Here is the TED 2012 Talk about more practical uses of the autonomous flying robots cooperating together. http://youtu.be/4ErEBkj_3PY