A TED Talk Looks at the Future of Autonomous Flight With a Dazzling Display of Micro-Quadcopters

A TED Talk by engineer Raffaello D’Andrea looks at the future of autonomous flight by demonstrating a number of prototypes being developed. The talk concludes with a dazzling display of coordinated micro-quadcopters in flight.

When you hear the word “drone,” you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D’Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft that’s ambivalent to orientation … to a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Prepare to be dazzled by a dreamy, swirling array of flying machines as they dance like fireflies above the TED stage.