SWARM: Smart And Agile Quadrocopters Which Might Be Very Dangerous
Nowadays the University of Pennsylvania is developing quite interesting and very promising project called SWARM (Scalable sWarms of Autonomous Robots and Mobile Sensors). Among all sub-projects of this project one is definitely stands out. It is a project of GRASP Lab that consists of developing the quadrocopters which are very maneuverable and easy to control using remote controls.
Those little quadrocopters seem like real miracle when you look how they work. If you toss one of them into the air, spinning it in the random way, the quadrocopter will regain its balance using its four propellers for that. The SWARM quadrocopters can do a lot of different things. Among those things you can see how they can fly through windows, even small ones, and other wall openings. They can also fly through moving objects like thrown hoops for example, but other moving obstacles with openings big enough for them to fly through are also not the problem for quadrocopters to pass.
As the development of the SWARM continues, they gain new abilities. The main among those abilities is the ability to move in packs, so those quadrocopters are called SWARM not for nothing. In addition, they can build things, and they are doing so quite effectively and with nice precision unknown to the UAVs until now. They also have the ability that may be either useful or very dangerous. I am talking about the ability to grasp things and carry them somewhere, even with the help of other quadrocopters if the object is too heavy for one UAV to carry.
What else? The quadrocopters might be extremely aggressive in skillful hands. They can follow the leader during the pack formation, maintaining their position and trajectory stability even if one or few of them will fail (for example, be turned off or even destroyed). Yes, sometimes quadrocopters can fail because they are controlled remotely by humans, using remote controls and, if necessary, onboard camera for that. Yet considering the quantity of those things that might be produced in the nearest future and increasing precision of their movements due to various sensors and electronics inside of them, I guess it is not the cause for thinking that they are not as dangerous as they seem.
So what are those dangers I am talking about? First of all, it is a camera that might be used not only to help humans control the UAV but also to record a video about you. The second thing is about the grasping ability of the SWARM quadrocopters because even one such robot can carry the IED big enough to hurt you or even kill you. Considering the speed and agility of the quadrocopter it would not be easy for you to hide or run away from such maneuverable flying robot. So, the bottom line of this story is that you should take action to protect yourself against this threat. In order to do that you need to block the signal of remote controls for SWARM quadrocopters because only low radio frequencies have data transfer speed high enough to control those flying monsters, and jam the signal of SWARM video camera to prevent your private life from ruination.
Phew… I guess that’s it for today and hope that SWARM both impresses and scares you as it does to me. Anyway, your comments are appreciated!