A Zurich research team developed the Distributed Flight Array, a series of 3D-printed drones capable of self-assembly. The flying honeycomb-shaped helicopter bots fly in extremely irregular patterns on their own, but they are able to detect the presence of similar drones nearby and connect to form a larger unit using magnets. As a whole, the conjoined units are much more controlled, and function as a highly intelligent system.
Individually, each modular unit relays information to other drones to determine how much force will be required during flight. When a disturbance in balance is detected, each drone is able to set itself back the correct position. This project by the Zurich's Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (IDSC) was not developed for any specific purpose, although it could have huge implications for the future of transportation.
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