Experts have praised Chinese scientists for developing supersonic drones that could be agile enough to hunt people in packs through tricky terrain.
The innovative invention has brought science fiction to life, by bringing aerial robots together who can successfully dart through obstacles without crashing.
A team from Zhejiang University have released incredible footage of 10 lightweight drones that were filmed moving agilely between trunks, uneven ground and tangled branches.
The drones can conduct such efforts through an algorithm and by charting the surroundings in real-time.
The system also scans for obstacles and can re-adjust the flight path in response, reports The Telegraph.
According to experts, the flight plan updates every few milliseconds as it takes into account collision avoidance, swarm coordination and flight efficiency.
The equipment could be used in areas with little satellite penetration including deep cave systems and planets as it doesn’t need a GPS signal to identify itself.
Such abilities may allow the surveying of remote wildlife or hunting for survivors in disaster zones – which are usually considered a struggle to navigate.
An experiment revealed that the swarm can track a human target as he made his way through a cluster of trees. The technology managed to keep focus even when he hid behind a sheet to shield him from the cameras.
Addressing the breakthrough in the journal Science Robotics, researchers said: “The swarms’ capability of navigation and coordination in these films has attracted and inspired numerous researchers. Here, we take a step forward to such a future.”
British robotics experts commended the work, as Dr Jonathan Aitken from Sheffield University told New Scientist: “To achieve a quality map, built from a distributed collection of robots, of the detail demonstrated is an excellent piece of engineering.
“To couple this with the additional successful navigation and avoidance of obstacles, and critically other members of the swarm, is an excellent achievement.”
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