This little flying device might not look like much at just 1/10th of a pound. There is something very special about it though, its brain. This "nano" quadrotor flying robot can be programmed to work with hundreds of other identical autonomous flying devices to accomplish some very big tasks. They operate using just 15 watts of electricity for power and quadrotor dynamics, where each of the four rotors can function individually to direct and maneuver the device.
These autonomous flying robots were developed by students Alex Mellinger and Daniel Kushleyev under the watch of Vijay Kumar the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
They are much smaller, and far more agile than current unmanned aircrafts used by the government. They can be used to accomplish many of the same tasks and more. The nano quadrotor robots even have the ability to sense obstacles and recalculate their routes accordingly using accelerometers(the same technology used in touchscreen phones to sense motion). It does so by "calculating commands at 600 times per second" according to Kumar.
Watch these cool little guys in action