Yesterday, Vijay Kumar from the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab presented some of their research at the TED2012 conference. We’ve talked about their horrifying manhacks many times before, like the time they programmed one to play the keyboard. Now, instead of a single autonomous quadrocopter playing the keyboard, Kumar, Daniel Melligner, and Alex Kushleyev have programmed a swarm of the little buggers to play the James Bond Theme.
Each robot quadrotor is eight inches in diameter and about one-tenth of a pound. They work in unison to mimic the swarming behavior of insects, birds, and fish while they plot to destroy us all (probably). For the video below, which screened at TED, the quadrotors played instruments like a keyboard, drums, maracas, a cymbal, a regular guitar, and a modified guitar built from a couch frame. So, when the manhacks takeover the earth, we can at least look forward to the sweeping, dramatic music they can play while hunting us down.