Engineers show off tiny flying ‘quadrobots’, or mini helicopters, that have been programmed to play the James Bond theme tune by buzzing up and down in unison over a selection of musical intruments.
The agile robots have been developed by engineering students at Pensylvannia University in the United States, who are helping to create a new breed of smarter, faster, and more flexible robots that mimic the swarming behaviours of birds, fish and insects.
In the demonstration video, which has become an internet sensation, the nanobots are fitted with wireless cameras and infrared lights that help their pilots plot their exact position in a precise way.
One of the university’s robotics laboratory members, Vijay Kumar, presented the groundbreaking work at the TED2012 conference, an international gathering of people and ideas from technology, entertainment, and design.
The team said that building robots that can move in unison without crashing into obstacles or one another, is a critical skill for robot teams to develop, especially as they may one day be used to survey landscapes, build structures, or even play music.