Quadrocopters: What Are They and Why Are They Assembling Buildings and Playing Pong?

Tiny quadrocopter flying machines assemble foam buildings and play air pong. What are these things?

I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated — in a good way and in a tremulous way — about all the quadrocoptor videos I’ve been watching lately.

What is a quadrocoptor? According to a definition I found here, it’s simply a an aircraft that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. These flying machines are also sometimes referred to as quadrotor helicoptors. There are other varieties with multiple rotors, too, like the one the guy is flying around below.

At a show in Paris this week, engineers showed a group of these little droid-like quadrocopters building a foam tower, block by block. What are the ramifications? Call me paranoid or a conspiracy theorist — you won’t be the first — but I find it easy to imagine the military using beefed up versions of these little copters to do all sorts of things.

Imagine them with AI and weapons and surveilance equipment. They already have the latter — their visual capabilities are what enable them to build buildings (albeit of foam blocks) and play air pong.

Check this out.

Here you see quadrocopters playing an air ball game that looks remarkably like a sci-fi version of Pong I should be reading about in one of Jerry Pournelle’s (nee BYTE) science fiction novels. Amazing.

Apple co-founder and multiplayer Pong inventor Steve Wozniak and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell ought to check this out!

Here’s the first manned flight of a larger multirotar helicopter with a human pilot. This made history in October of this year.

There is an even an open source site for building your own quadrocoptor. The site posts a photo of what could be your final result.

The Verge, one of my favorite new tech sources, did a terrific piece on the quadrocopter foam building project and has more cool video. Definitely check that out.

Email me at Gina@aNewDomain.net. Follow us @anewdomain and feel free to comment before. I am collecting quadcopter videos and will be sure to credit you! gs

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