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SMAVNET: Flying Robots for Disaster Relief
Amanda Reed, 30 Sep 10

Rendering of the Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network (SMAVNET) Project (via Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) are working on creating swarming flying robots for deployment in disaster areas. The Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network (SMAVNET) Project currently consists of ten light-weight prototypes, which, per Engadget, is "said to be the largest network of its kind." Additionally:

the ten SMAVNET swarm members control their own altitude, airspeed, and turn rate based on input from the onboard gyroscope and pressure sensors. The goal is to develop low cost devices that can be deployed in disaster areas to create ad hoc communications networks...

Further, as Inhabitat notes:

By flying, the robots are able to overcome any difficult terrain or other issues they might encounter on the ground, and they provide line-of-sight communication so ground rescuers can contact each other at bases of deployment.

For more on the SMAVNET project, including a video of the prototypes in flight, see the EPFL research team's website about the project.

Annotated illustration of the SMAVNET flying robot (via Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

(via Make)

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Inquisitive minds want to know whether this could be extended to non-disaster scenarios.

Posted by: Robert on 30 Sep 10

amazing! but can this also help if someone is injured or dead in the area?

Posted by: jessie on 1 Oct 10

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