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Birds, Bats and Bees Inform Radically Different Drone Design

University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab has designed drones that are made to withstand small crashes. Taking their cues from nature–specifically swarming animals like birds and bees–the drones have roll cages that allow them to bump into each other and emerge unscathed.

“This is a radically different approach to flight where you simply rely on local information to navigate and build in the resilience to collisions that are inevitable because of noisy sensors and resource-constrained processors,” Professor Vijay Kumar tells IEEE Spectrum. “We are trying to make robots that are safe and smart and that can operate in cluttered indoor environments.”

Read the full story here and watch the drones in action below.

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