Analysis by Tracy Staedter
Thu Jun 3, 2010 10:00 AM ET
This small, four-rotor helicopter, or quadrotor, from the Grasp Lab at the University of Pennsylvania flies like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It maneuvers like a hummingbird in a blur of rapid, controlled precision. I feel like I’ve seen this kind of flight take place in a science fiction movie, but I can’t remember which one. Certainly this type of flight is in our future. With such deft maneuverability, a quadrotor like this one would be highly desirable for navigating quickly through congested areas, forests or shattered buildings. And its ability to perch vertically on walls — or even upside down! — is absolutely remarkable.
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