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Kinect quadrocopter gets a new mission: 3D mapping (video)

In the future, our flying robot overlords won't just navigate terrain autonomously, they'll also report back to base with detailed 3D maps of everything they've seen -- or at least that's what this homebuilt UAV does in a video released this week. In a nutshell, MIT's combined its room-mapping Roomba with the Kinect quadrocopter radar developed at UC Berkeley, resulting in a flying contraption sure to be the envy of topographers everywhere. We're not sure that the world's robot incumbents will be too happy, though -- perhaps MIT should invest in some laser protection next.