Flying Robots Cooperate, Throw and Catch Balls


New video from ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena, you can read more on Robohub

PS. is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world. We just launch the beta version, take a look!

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Developer

    There are two halves to the Quad problem. 1) Determining Position / Orientation (along with translational velocity and angular velocity).  2) Control. How to make the Quad accurately move in the desired directions over time.

    This video amazing sophisitacation of 2), the second half of the problem .

    Alot of people, including ETH, are working on 1), in separate projects.

  • Very cool to watch. Kinda creepy too... Thanks.

  • @Chris: it was really nice to meet you! Hope you enjoyed the demos! 

    @Andrew thanks for the kind(er) words. It's amazing what people write online. I guess also using real names really helps with the level of comments.

    The 007 theme video was done by the guys at GRASP lab, UPenn. These vehicles can fly outside just fine -- obviously not with the same precision/convenience as in a dedicated mocap space.

    @crashpilot, etc. These are extremely harsh (to a meaningless level) comments. Good luck with that.

  • 3D Robotics

    I was there this week for this! Yes, it's a Vicon motion capture space. Here's a video I took on my cellphone as they were tying to get the system to recognize the ball:

  • @Alynch

    You are correct. I said this set up was not practical for outdoor. I did not denounce ETH's work but merely stating an observation. Why so defensive?  

  •  @Marooned: I know, but this populistic exposition, like all their presentations (007 Theme etc) - i just can't see anymore.

  • Experiments must reduce the environment factors to properly measure a variable.  ETH Zurich is using vicon to simplify their research problem.   Many of these researchers are also testing outdoor experiments and soon we will see the transfer of research lab to outdoor work.  Please don't judge without carefully reading their research papers!  

  • Looks like they are using Vicon motion cap cameras you can see them at the ceiling. I wouldn't be surprised if there were 16 or more of them judging by the spacing. Clean looking algorithms but yes not practical for outdoor use, just a tad on the costly side. 


  • Crashpilot: I must disagree. With your thinking we would be still in stone age. Most inventions had its beginnings in labs under certain conditions. Then after proper analysis scientists could lower restrictions on conditions and eventually the idea became a real world stuff.

  • Some scientists playing around in an artificial world to justify their payment. Good news: There is a real world outside your lab! Go there and do the same thing without cameras in every tree, with sunstorms disturbing your mag, GPS etc with limited visibility etc - that would impress me. This simply sucks completely.

This reply was deleted.