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Tomorrow Today

Dancing Drones

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich are trying out new uses for quadcopters. Equipped with the necessary computing power, the four-rotor drones become flying robots able to communicate and work together to perform tasks beyond the capabilities of one alone.

Watch video 03:42

For example, they could stack up containers to build high-rises. But it's critical to ensure there's no danger of the robots colliding. And they have to be able to coordinate their activities. The scientists composed a ballet performed by quadcopter-borne, glowing lampshades. They foresee the drones becoming regulars in major stage shows and concerts within just a few years.