Link to the talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html
Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other and form ad hoc teams – for construction, surveying disasters and far more. Talk recorded 29 March 2012.
About the Speaker
At the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar studies the control and coordination of multi-robot formations. At the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (Grasp) Lab, at the University of Pennsylvania, US, flying quadrotor robots move together in eerie formation, tightening themselves into perfect battalions, even filling in the gap when one of their own drops out. You might have seen viral videos of the quads zipping around the netting-draped Grasp Lab (they juggle! they fly through a hula hoop!). Vijay Kumar headed this lab from 1998-2004; he's now the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he continues his work in robotics, blending computer science and mechanical engineering to create the next generation of robotic wonders.