A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors - teensy electric helicopters flying autonomously

Researchers into autonomous vehicles are moving towards automated everything.  Here's an example of small quadroters (helicopter-like vehicles with four motors & blades) flying in formation and doing various tricks.  The word "nano" in their title tripped me up.  This is not nanotechnology in the sense of atomic scale machines.  It's "nano" in the sense that it's a lot smaller than a full size helicopter, or in the sense that the iPod Nano is a lot smaller than a regular iPod.

Obviously what they've done is develop swarming algorithms so that the quadrotors fly around in a swarm.  The video shows these thingies taking on tasks and goals, flying through an open window, flying in a figure 8, etc.  The tasks are pretty primitive, but it's clear that they're headed towards developing similar gizmos that can take on more complex tasks.  Especially when mobile CPU's and control systems become more capable than they are today.

In Science Fiction we have stories of tiny robotic surveillance vehicles spying on everyone.  Here we see a first step towards implementing that idea.

Here's what they had to say about themselves:  Experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Vehicles developed by KMel Robotics. Special thanks to Professor Daniel Lee for his support.