Cheap Flying Robots — PC Controlled UAVs

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The air could soon be filled with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or flying robots. Until recently they’ve mostly been used for aerial surveillance in war zones and trouble spots. Some of the larger ones have been adapted to carry weapon payloads. Spooks and the military are constantly working on ways to make them smaller and more unobtrusive, and no doubt they’re following developments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with keen interest.

Graduate researchers have built a fleet of mini UAVs, based on cheap off-the-shelf flying gadgets, and hooked them up to a PC network, which allows them to fly around autonomously, taking off and landing under computer control. They can even land and automatically recharge their batteries. During a series of test flights the researchers have also managed to get the UAVs to land on a moving vehicle using data from it’s on-board camera. Keep watching the skies; something up there is probably watching you…

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