back to article Hungarian eggheads unleash not-at-all-scary DRONE SWARM

Researchers have taught flying drones to behave like birds, clearing the way for further development of technologies to marshal swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles. In a paper titled Outdoor flocking and formation flight with autonomous aerial robots boffins from Budapet's Eötvös University Department of Biological Physics …


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  1. Ketlan

    Fiction to fact

    And we live through the process of science fiction turning into science fact again. Read the 2002 novel Prey by Michael Crichton and swarming nanobots are to be found therein.

  2. Paul J Turner

    El Reg being respectable

    But missing a naughty title "Flocking Heli's" ;-)

  3. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Who cares about the clever technology...?

    ... Kudos for the Monty Python references guys!!!

  4. xperroni


    So they finally found a practical application to the Boids algorithm?


    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Boids

      "So they finally found a practical application to the Boids algorithm?"


      It's been used for years in movies.

      1. John Gamble

        Re: Boids

        It's been used for years in movies.

        He did say "practical applications".

  5. Uncle Siggy

    Bird Brains

    I for one welcome our new swarms of unmanned aerial overlords.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Bird Brains

      You are late with your welcome by 20 years.

      See the guidance mode section.

      While the welcome to these particular drone overlords would have been very warm indeed, it would have been very short too. On the order of fractions of a second to the tune of Pink FLoyd's, 'Two Suns in the Sunset' .Thankfully, it has never been fired in anger.

      1. squigbobble

        Re: Bird Brains

        The stats on those are pretty scary :/

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monty Python

    The video is worth a look, even though it is completely and utterly unimpressive as far as demonstrating what the article describes.

    1. squigbobble

      Re: Monty Python

      It's also funnier than the article.

  7. DropBear

    Methinks it's time... reboot that old IP "The Birds" from some guy called Hitchcock - you know, re-spin it for the younger audience with drones instead of birds, and get JJ to direct it. What could possibly go wrong?!?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    various peaceful applications of drones

    but of course war is a manifestation of peace, or something to that effect....

  9. Pete 8
    Thumb Up

    Might we now

    need a similar system for swarming other creatures?

    Eötvös : "The flock, as a meta-unit, can detect the environment more efficiently and can operate much longer than its members individually."

    Flock = Crowd.

    Peace just needs better software :)

  10. Craig 28

    I could potentially give them S&R after disasters in an urban area but I can't think of many civilian uses for a flock of quadcopters at 50-100m range, though if they can extend that then yes it may be useful. Imagine TV weather copters being replaced by multiple drones to give greater flexibility or with the right software even a composite overview. Even for militaries though I think unless they're willing to have dozens of them up at once for a truly absurd coverage area more than 3-5 for recon and tracking purposes is probably excessive, and definitely excessive if they're only going after single targets as is more commonly the case today with all this "low intensity wafrare" crap.

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