Deep within the confines of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology there lies an indoor, netted test area researchers refer to as the Flying Machine Arena . And while surely the Zurich-based lab must be spending countless hours developing new chocolates and additional Army Knife accessories, these days it’s balls that researchers are using most of their time playing with….oh yeah and autonomous, flying robots. I guess that last detail is rather important.
Enter the quadrocopter, a four blade operating robot that can fly itself around using sensors to scan nearby surroundings for obstacles, even interacting with fellow quadrocopters mid-flight. The latest development with these flying droids is their ability to autonomously juggle a ping pong ball back and forth; we’re talking two individual, flying robots that can keep a ball from hitting the floor even after their developers depart for lunch. Clever girls.
Video after the jump featuring two quadrocopters, inside the FMA net, volleying a table tennis ball back and forth. It’s an incredibly impressive demonstration of the abilities these hovering bots are capable of, while also reminding us, at the same time, that the unholy robot apocalypse isn’t too far away. Thank God, I was starting to get impatient.