Swarms Of Computer-Controlled UAVs Seen
While we periodically fret about the addition of single UAVs to the airspace, researchers at the University of Essex, in England, are working on computer modules that will enable the creation of flocks of UAVs that will be able to act as flying Web servers. Two types of systems are envisioned; one, the outdoor "Gridswarm," will use model aerobatic trainers that can fly 120 mph in bird-like formations while "performing parallel, distributed computing tasks using Bluetooth-connected Linux clustering software," according to the LinuxDevices.com Web site. There's also an indoor version. The UltraSwarm UAV is a helicopter-like device that its creator, Renzo de Nardi, claims is the "smallest flying web server in the world." The heart of the systems are "Gumstix" computer modules, so named because they are about the size of a stick of gum and don't weigh much more.