These Robot Quadrocopter Jugglers Perform For Your Amusement… For Now

If you’ve watched some of our previous robotic quadrocopter coverage you’ll have seen these little choppers fly through hoops and interact with humans in fairly mundane ways. Now I’d like you to watch this video of two quadrocopters sharing a nice game of catch. They target the ball and throw it back to the thrower and once you have two in the same pen they start throwing the balls to each other. The result? Mirth and merriment!

These robots were made by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and use highly precise positioning sensors to tap the balls into play and then right themselves before they fall.

Now while I’m fine with these things playing ball, I worry what will happen when they get tired of these jackanapes and begin to prefer controlling humans by threatening them with live grenades thrown hither and yon as we cower in fear of our new robotic masters. While I doubt it will happen this year, there’s always the chance these things can become sentient before 2012 when the Mayan calendar runs out and we’re invaded by aliens anyway, so win-win.


[Thanks, Johnal!]