Watching This Autonomous Multicopter Drone Play Catch Is Awesome

Thursday, 01 June 2017 - 5:04PM
Technology
Robotics
Thursday, 01 June 2017 - 5:04PM
Watching This Autonomous Multicopter Drone Play Catch Is Awesome
Image credit: IDSC, ETH Zurich
You know, we thought we had lost the capacity to be impressed by weird little quadrocopter-like drones. After seeing a guy skydive off a huge, 28-propeller drone from 1,000 feet in the air, we were pretty sure that was the best it was ever going to get. However, once again, we are proven wrong.

Behold: a cube-shaped multicopter that not only follows the trajectory of a little white ball, but catches it in a tiny net.



A lot has been made of humans' ability to do complex tasks almost instinctively, like walking over rough terrain or figuring out a sequence of events after being shown a picture of the final result. Catching a ball is one of the most common examples, since it requires a lot of complex calculations dealing with trajectory, speed, and coordination. The fact that this new multicopter isn't just a robotic arm strapped to a table, but is actually able to move around in 3-D space, makes it all the more impressive.
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