3D Robotics

Quadcopter formation makes shapes in the sky

3689548881?profile=originalThat's a kangaroo, formed by formation-flying quadcopters at the Ars Electronica conference in Linz, Austria. (Before you get too excited, these are AscTec Hummingbirds and each one of those "pixels" in the picture cost $5,000). From sUASNews:

Twitter user Eva Shindling @evsccc recently posted a Kangaroo in the sky above Linz, Austria flown as part of the ARS Electronica 2013 festival.

The team from the Ars Electronica Futurelab are doing amazing things with multirotors what will they come up with next!


The show was carried out by AscTec Hummingbird quadrocopters produced by German manufacturer Ascending Technologies. The small electric helicopters, weigh less than 2kg. They have an on-board GPS module, with which they can autonomously find and hold their position. Software developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab commands formation changes. With their small LED bulbs as payload, the quadrocopters can form dynamically any figures in the night sky.

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  • @Martiijn, @Chris Anderson

    The original GRASP Labs quadcopters did use the AscTech frames, they have since moved away from those now and are promoting "complete" systems via Kmel Robotics.


    Everything was mostly COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) when they got started, and then they began to manufacture each system with their own design.

  • They are offering the team for events now, basically commercializing their system.

    For $15 we will provide a piece of paper with 30 holes in the locations of your choice, a flashlight, and a kazoo.

  • I still prefer lo-tech fireworks.
    Mmmmm.... maybe as a finale they can set off their Lipos?
    Anyway, this stuff does my head in. I'm flat out flying 1'Copter let alone a Swarm.
  • @Randy .... ;)

    They are using Hummingbirds with specialized GPS (and experimenting with other localization tech). And a 2nd cpu I believe. They are offering the team for events now, basically commercializing their system.

    I wouldn't mind a second I2C bus for a second CPU (navigation cpu) to attach to the Pixhawk (or APM for that matter) that isn't on the sensor bus.

  • $5k for each? OMFG...

  • 3D Robotics

    Martiijn: No, the GRASP guys built their own microquads, which they'll be commercializing via Kmel Robotics.

  • $150k...wow...and that is just the hardware hanging in the air. I wonder the cost of the groundstation required to coordinate all those quads.
  • Are those the same quads that those guys from GRASP use?

  • For $150k, I will insert bio-luminescent genes into a a kangaroo embryo and train it to skydive after it's born. 

  • For $150K I will personally wrap a kangaroo in glo-sticks and hold him up over my head at the top of a tall ladder.

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