Subscribe

Robot helicopters perform James Bond theme music

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab wowed attendees at this year's TED conference with a video of tiny robot quadroters performing the James Bond theme music. 

  • close
    Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Sometimes we just crave the simple things in life: smelling freshly baked bread, getting a baby to laugh, watching a cat fall asleep on your lap, or having someone scratch your back. 

And other times, you just want to watch a bunch of robotic quadrotors performing the James Bond theme song. 

If you are reading this story, now is apparently one of those times. If you haven't done so already, watch the video at the top of this page. 

You might think that these robots were designed and built by Q himself, but they were actually made by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, and the video made its debut at this years TED conference, which is underway in Long Beach, Calif. The robot band was autonomous; no humans with remote controls were involved. Rather, the tiny four-rotor helicopters were controlled wirelessly by a single computer, which determined their positions using cameras and infrared lights. 

The applications of this technology go far beyond entertainment. "Figuring out how to move in unison without crashing into obstacles, or one another, is a critical skill for robot teams to develop," notes a press release from Penn. "Especially since they may one day be used to survey landscapes, build structures, or even play music." 

Here's another video of the robots flying in formation. If these little guys are ever granted a license to kill, 007 might meet his match. 

Update (11/20/2012): Check out this "making of" video to see how they did it. 

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK