Video: Quadcopters play catch with a big stick

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Quadcopters are definitely sweet geek toys, especially when the machines are capable of operating autonomously.

Frankly, the thought of a flying machine that can navigate indoors without crashing into anything is certainly very appealing indeed.

Recently, a group of researchers at the ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena created a pair of flying quadcopters capable of doing a whole lot more than simply flying and navigating on their own. To be sure, these little flying machines have the ability to vertically balance a stick - and play catch with each other.

I can only imagine how complex the alogrithms are, as they allow the quadcopters to recognize when the other copter is about to throw the stick, as well as determine where the 'copter needs to be in order to catch the stick and keep it perfectly balanced.

Interestingly, the researchers say the cross-shaped cuts on the surface of the helicopter where the stick is seen has nothing to do with keeping the object balanced vertically. Rather, the cuts are merely design to make it easier to attach a platform to the vehicle.