Expanding kinectosphere: now, it flies!

Compared to some of the autonomous quadrotor bots out there, the Kinect-headed flyer above might seem tame. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have bots that can do amazing things like fly through window frames and maneuver in tight formation. But those bots use a system of twenty cameras arrayed around a room; leave the room, bot, and you’re blind. The Berkeley bot’s kinect-unit head, by contrast, allows it a startling degree of autonomy. Plus, it looks kind of friendly, despite its three pale eyes. Which would be cold comfort if a swarm of them surprised you in a corridor and ran you down.

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