Quadrocopter Pole Acrobatics: Robots Play Catch With Javelins (VIDEO)

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In what appears to be yet another blow in mankind's ongoing battle to remain relevant amid the encroaching sentient robotic tide, quadrocopters have been taught to play catch.

With javelins.

The clip by Swiss researchers Dario Brescianini, Markus Hehn, and Raffaello D'Andreashows the robotic four-motor flying machines successfully throwing, catching and balancing an inverted pendulum.

The clip is the latest in a series of amazing experiments designed to test the limits of self-aware flying robots.

The team behind it detailed their work in a long and interesting blog post, which you can read here.

Brescianini said:

"This project was very interesting because it combined various areas of current research and many complex questions had to be answered: How can the pole be launched off the quadrocopter? Where should it be caught and - more importantly - when? What happens at impact?

The biggest challenge to get the system running was the catching part. We tried various catching maneuvers, but none of them worked until we introduced a learning algorithm, which adapts parameters of the catching trajectory to eliminate systematic errors."