Teaching teams of drones to work alongside humans and nature

The Robust Reactive Systems Lab just might have the highest ceilings of any laboratory on the Carnegie Mellon campus. It’s big and drafty, and were it not for the rows of computer workstations dotting the room, it might easily be mistaken for an airplane hangar. The centerpiece is a scaffolding structure surrounded on all four sides by netting that looks more like a batting cage than a serious piece of lab equipment at one of the world’s foremost robotics schools.

But when the demo starts, everyone stops and watches. Fifteen pocket-sized drones are lined up, three by five. All at once, bright lights flash beneath each, moments before suddenly lifting off in unison. The drones split into smaller groups and explore the boundaries of the cage, before…

Read Story