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These flying swarmbots would fall under the category of things that aren’t at CES but we wish were. Maybe next year? They are part of a project at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland to explore large aerial robot swarms.

The Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network (SMAVNET) Project

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. mathcampbell says:

    I can’t be the only one to be thinking this:
    This video, whilst great on it’s own, was MADE by that lovely piece of music. I was hoping it would be in the credits at the end, but alas not. Anyone know what it is?

    On the subject matter of the actual video, I’ve been doing quite a lot of thinking about aerial swarming recently‚Ķ
    If we can perfect the software now, this will make it a lot easier in the years to come when we can finally start building some nano-scale devices of this nature. The main problems with aerial robotics at the moment is of course the energy required to keep them airborne and moving. Either you go with lighter-than-air, which makes them cumbersome, bigger and generally slower and less manoeuvrable, or powered, but the batteries drain after a few minutes.
    If we could get them small enough that they’re on the dust-mote scale (not that far off, I’d add), they will be able to maintain buoyancy a LOT easier‚Ķ
    If the software can be perfected now, come nanoscale devices, we’ll be all set for mega-swarms…