Mechanical Swarms

by Lorne Mitchell on 03/05/2012

In my research on swarms, I came across this extraordinary video of a swarm of  tiny flying machines called “nano quadrotors”.  You have to watch it to believe it.  The mind boggles when you think of some of the applications!  Once you have watched the short video, please leave any comments on what you think!


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Simon Webb May 4, 2012 at 10:59

One that springs to mind is for driving. Cars could use the technology to drive along motorways.


2 Lorne May 4, 2012 at 16:26

Great on a sunny day – but wonder if the bots would hold up in all the rain we have been having of late!

I have a friend in Cumbria who is using radio controlled aircraft for sheepherding in winter….which seems to work quite well.



3 Archie May 4, 2012 at 16:16

From Archie:

Good morning Lorne
I enjoyed the swarm this morning….. but actually apart from actually flying what they were doing was actually not that clever…. as in they merely mimiced actions that any self respecting brass band would manage tubas and all. If they actually developed a bit and perhaps added in what this guy is talking about? Follow the link…. then we could see something special. This guy has done probably more on swarm nature than anyone else… but mechanically! A different way of looking at things. have a look.
Love to all
This is also most certainly amazing!


4 Lorne May 4, 2012 at 16:23

Thanks, Archie. Love the TED talk. Beautiful.


5 Bo May 5, 2012 at 03:32

Interesting…. but the really clever trick would be if they could sense their position relative to the other nano quadrotors and act accordingly!


6 Lorne May 5, 2012 at 12:58

I think, Bo, that is how they work! Swarm algorithms require each ant, bee or bot to keep a certain distance from other bots and I can’t see how the figure of eight sequence would work without the bots following each other.


7 Gail Purvis May 5, 2012 at 08:47

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