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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Potential of Drone Swarms

We examined, and here Wired debunks their current capabilities.  Teleoperation is not an autonomous swarm.  But if cars can be autonomous, how soon can swarms?

Drone Swarms as you Know them are Just An Illusion - For now.   By Liam Cobb in Wired

" ... It’s an evocative word, swarms, and innocuous enough when applied to one of Intel’s drone light shows. But it’s tinged with alarm—if drones can dance at twilight, they can also attack. Sure enough, a gang outside Denver sent a small fleet to harass FBI agents on a raid earlier this year. In Syria, rebels reportedly sicced a squadron of quadrotors on a Russian base. To the media, both events were swarms.... 

Take comfort, then, in this buzzkill: “The swarm is really an illusion,” says Mac Schwager, an assistant professor at Stanford who studies multi­robot systems. Schwager, along with many of his colleagues, resists the word. Too entomological, conjuring as it does frillions of bugs surging as a single superorganism through the air. (Flocking birds, in fact, were the field’s original inspiration—though the occasional roboticist does try studying insects.) When drones “swarm,” on the other hand, they’ve been choreographed in advance, or else are being controlled by human minders with joysticks. Even the DOD’s recent military demos have required teleoperators. ... "

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