Monday, 17 January 2011
Yes, only a proof of principle. A lab demonstration, with pre-packaged pre-fabricated parts, designed to be trivially easy to put together.
Nonetheless... the shape of things to come. Quadrotors or Hexrotors have certain fundamentals dictated by the science of fluid flow and aerodynamics. While power storage technology will get better, computation ability will improve, and there's a little room for materials science to make things lighter and stronger... I don't see much change to the basic concept from here.
A glimpse of the future, with swarms of co-operating robotic insects building useful things, often in hostile environments. Just not when the wind's too variable, or too strong. Indoors is best. Factories may soon resemble beehives.