The kids at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (or EPFL) have been cooking up quite a bit lately, as this video demonstrates. Not only have they put together a scalable system that will let any flying robot perch in a tree or similar structure, but now they've gone and developed a platform for swarming air vehicles (with Linux, nonetheless). Said to be the largest network of its kind, the ten SMAVNET swarm members control their own altitude, airspeed, and turn rate based on input from the onboard gyroscope and pressure sensors. The goal is to develop low cost devices that can be deployed in disaster areas to creat ad hoc communications networks, although we can't help but think this would make the best Christmas present ever. See for yourself after the break.
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