Flyfire Micro-Helicopter Display

Flyfire is research project from MIT's SENSEable City Lab and Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory (ARES Lab). Flyfire uses remotely-controlled, self-organizing micro-helicopters; each one has small LEDs and can act as a "smart pixel".

Under digital control, the tiny UAVs can perform "elaborate and synchronized choreographies" in three-dimensional space.

With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape... "It's like when Winnie the Pooh hits a beehive: a swarm of bees comes out and chases him while changing its configuration to resemble a beast," said E Roon Kang, a research fellow at the SENSEable City Lab who is leading the project.

Using the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology developed by the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or bring a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape.


(Flyfire video)

"Today we are able to simultaneously control a handful of micro helicopters, but with Flyfire we are aiming to scale up and reach very large numbers," said Emilio Frazzoli, head of the ARES Lab.

These little micro-helicopters remind me of the aerostat monitors from Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age. These flying surveillance mites could form autonomous formations, like the dog pod grid defensive formation. Now, you just hang a little light on each one...

I was also reminded of the identificators from Jack Vance's 1964 novel The Star King (note their behavior when disturbed):

Three doors doors along the corridor Gersen came upon a free-floating identificator of luminous blue letters, which read: GYLE WARWEAVE, and below: PROVOST....

He stepped forward; the door slipped aside, quick as a camera shutter; the identificator broke into individual letters which scattered like frightened fish, to regroup after he had passed.
(Read more about Vance's identificators)

From Flyfire; see also the MIT Flyfire press release.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/22/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Display ")

A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.' - Jack Vance, 1971.

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.' - William Gibson, 1986.

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.' - Charles Stross, 2007.

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...' - William Gibson, 1986.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Chinese Steal American Seeds From Our Fields
'The Iszic maintain a jealously guarded monopoly...'

Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.'

Singing Ringing Tree Wind-Powered Sculpture
'It was like no music Dirk had ever heard, It was eerie and wild...'

Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'

Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'

CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'

Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'

Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'

Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.