Robot Swarms to Rule Skies and Seas
Swarm demos were shown at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. The November 2016 event was held at the Zhuhai international exhibition center. Popular Mechanics revealed dozens of Chinese fixed wing drones in an aerial display, ostensibly flying autonomously.
Said to be an experiment in both FPV (first person view) and swarm technology, the event was filmed by the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, Poisson and Tsinghua University. A swarm of sixty-seven (67) X-6 Skywalker hobby flying wings were shown flying at relatively low altitudes near large, inactive wind turbines. The drones can be seen flying impressive distances, in formation, without collisions. The video claims that eventually, one pilot will be able to control “hundreds or thousands of drones.”
The Pentagon has been testing small handheld drones as well.
Maritime swarm bots are also under active development. Wired.com recently reported on maritime swarm bots being tested by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and partners