Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly and cooperate on TED ideas worth spreading

By DonkeyHotey
By DonkeyHotey | Source

They started out as wind up toys

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Robotics are here to stay!

Robots have always been man's most astounding invention thus far besides that of its mother the computer, and especially for those robots that have been created in the 21st century. For many years the technology we've been seeing has been truly awesome, anywhere from automated weapons systems, to nanobots, new developments keep sprouting out from the robotics industry, and it all starts with the experimental stages out at the University engineering levels.

I recently found a powerful robotics story that was fully featured on a cool informational network resource web location known as TED. TED talks is a very well known digital and physical platform for launching some pretty amazing speeches, educative presentations, and spreading great genius ideas world wide, where they have a cool stage that is used to promote many talks from online.

This hub is going to present and review such a Talk, and it's all about Vijay Kumar's robotic developments, he's the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Pennsylvania University, Philadelphia located in the U.S.

He discusses all about it and made a truly remarkable speech presentation on TED, explaining the physical dynamics, the purpose, usage and overall functionality of his new flying machines that are considered to be autonomous, very small, and can conduct coordinated multi-robot formations.


Here's his must see TED talk speech that's totally mind blowing!

What is meant by Autonomous robots?

There are many differing breakthroughs in the robotics industry today, and in terms of upward progress being made, many in which all types of engineers have had the privilege to provide their working knowledge into such technologies. Autonomous robots though have a history of their own.

As defined by wikipedia (use link for a more in depth definition) autonomous robots pretty much work on their own without human intervention or commands, and help in many differing forms of usage, for such things like NASA space projects, used as vacuum cleaners, pool cleaners, for use in waste treatment plants. So these cool mechanical beasts are used in many other various important areas of life as well today, and pretty much where ever it befits a robot to perform the more difficult dangerous tasks, rather then that of a human.

Yikes my Sci fi Imagination is running wild, I cant stop thinking A.I.

Imagine the actual I-Robot coming to life some day, now wouldn't that be cool, but if they were to get hostile oh boy there would be some hell to pay for sure, or maybe we can invent the terminator to come and fight out the epic battle for us (laughing out loud).

Funny stuff right, but in all actuality it really isn't, because the true reality is that many robots today are being used both for good reasons, and also some for very bad ones in war like hostile territories, and I guess its all left up to the human behind such machines, whether they be autonomous, artificially intelligent like in the movie A.I., or remotely controlled by human command.

It's our responsibility to make sure that all machines if combined with the human civilian population are keep under absolute control and or regulated as to their effective usage, oh and lets hope none of them fall into the wrong hands neither, because crime could potentially take on a whole new ugly face, just as what occurred with fire arms, and other potentially lethal weapons, tools, or advanced instruments throughout the ages.

On the positive note though these cool autonomous machines can make for some interesting toys for kids as well for the Christmas holiday season, knowing they are constructed to be much safer then say a remote helicopter.



By jurvetson
By jurvetson | Source

Advantage over Disadvantage

Either way the disadvantages of size and weight of these robots, may not be a bad thing in any way or sense. This is so because they have many applications, such as assisting in many tight confined spaced situations.

They also will be used for movement of small cargo, and things that require repetitive lifting, which can save a great deal of time, and energy of human beings who currently perform a great deal of cargo lifting, and overall movement of certain things.

Imagine having a fleet of these robots to help you move your stuff in your home, that would be the day for sure, when robots like this arrive at our door steps.

Robots that can detect motion using infrared lasers

The robots that Vijay has displayed in his speech on TED are actually, self driven and they can detect the presence of humans, as well as that of their entire surroundings. This poses a great advantage to the owners of such futuristic robots, and helps to enhance their application. They are able to communicate with one another in such a way so that they don't run into each other in flight, and they can maintain a specified closing in distance between one another.

  • These autonomous Robot's actually use infrared technology by Microsoft's Kinect to sense motion from that of the environment as well as the Hokuyo Scanner which is a laser that is used to detect motion.
  • The info gets interpolated by the robot's to adjust their positional orientation, so to avoid striking any objects, and or human beings while in flight. This actually is one of the key definitive requirements for autonomous robots to perform and function.


Are you amazed yet because I am

This is an amazing breakthrough in this sort of autonomous robotic technology, and it has huge applications for today's new world of technology, and it has some serious real world potential to be applied into daily living.

They can easily team up together to lift objects into the air at specific distances as programmed using a sort of blue print, or taught to figure it out on its own as well, and they can actually lift even heavy objects as a cooperative transportation.

These agile aerial robots can also map out coordinates of any location using infrared scanning, and then reproduce the results onto a computer screen for data collections. So for instance if they were needed to enter a burning or collapsed building that hasn't been identified yet of its internal arrangements.

Once it enters such a structure, it can literally find its way through it, while simultaneously generating a virtual map, that's transmitted back on onto a screen at a remote location, and this can be done autonomously. So the benefits of using such a instrument is unlimited, maybe even some day they can be used to put out fires.

The only disadvantage comes in where they actually weigh very little, and once they lift an object, they lose their degrees of free motion a bit not allowing for them to be agile as they were when moving freely.


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Comments 10 comments

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

I am amazed. I never thought of all the added advantages. Rescuing people from collapsed and burning buildings, laser detection just to name a few. As you stated, as long it is in a controlled situation and it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Amazing write. I have to say, I learned quite a bit of insight with this.

And enjoyed it.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you once again @shiningirsiheyes for being so kind to read my hub, and to have left such a cool comment, yes indeed this new age technology is something else.

Robotics has definitely come a very long way today, and I'm just happy to be alive to experience all the great new inventions these intelligent scientist, and engineers keep coming up with.


Taalib Pugh1 profile image

Taalib Pugh1 4 years ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

Yo Mike thanks! This was truly awesome bro. I really was amazed by the capabilites of those robots. I mean they really are amazing the are autonomous for sure and they are very unique and innovative which could put the professor and his crew as one top demanded technological creations on the technological market insha'ALLAAH. Man these guys may end up becoming rich real soon. Especially because they created something that can help the world and it's people.

Well Mike again thanks bro and I'll be in my lab and i'm sure you'll be in yours lol. Some day we will come out with something that can contribute to ease mankind's lives while living in trying times Insha'ALLAAH.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Word bro, this technology is no joke for sure. I think that mankind is leaning towards a much more smarter future, I just wish, hope and pray that we change the negative factors of living towards more positive, and then things may literally take off for us all, you know. God Willing.

Thanks for giving my hub here a good read, and I'm happy you enjoyed the video I shared up there, it was something definitely worth writing about, and it has complimented my past engineering experience as well, making it more easier to do and joyous at the same time.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

You have the amazing ability to write enthusiastically about anything! I wish I could write with the flow as you do...impressive!

Today, I found your following statement very interesting:

"The only disadvantage comes in where they actually weigh very little, and once they lift an object, they lose their degrees of free motion a bit not allowing for them to be agile as they were when moving freely."

Quite intriguing.

I voted this up and shared Mike!


DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

Very cool hub it's definitely an incredible world we live in. As with everything with market value as they find less expensive ways to build and distribute the assorted "robots" we will see them being used for more and more common jobs. Voted up, awesome and interesting!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Hey how are ya @iamaudraleigh, its nice to see you enjoyed my hub here. Yeah I'm more of a technical geek then anything, but I've been trying to cut down on all of that a bit to share more of the common lingo on hubpages, and topics that interest many folks as well.

It's not easy at all though to change my flow to adversely communicate efforts on subjects I haven't much knowledge in at all, and so I do my best I can to make such a smooth transition, but at time my words do fall short as well from time to time I must admit.

Thanks though for being so insightful and kind to leave your thoughts on my writing style, I do appreciate the compliment for sure Audra & also thanks for the vote up and for sharing that was very thoughtful of you to do for me once again.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks Scott, aka DS Duby, by the way I like your screen name its kind of cool bro.

Yup yup,I love this amazing technology we have today, and all the awesome breakthroughs with computing as well as these amazing robots. I wanna get into robotics myself some time in the near future, and so I will be releasing many hubs about the subject soon for sure.

Thanks man for the visit and the vote up, as well as sharing with me, that was cool! of you to do for me, & I'll be seeing everyone in their hubs soon.


DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

You keep writing about robotics and I'll keep reading them, it's very fascinating.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Will do bro, thanks again

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