Sometimes the aftermath of a natural disaster is just as bad as the disaster itself, as the rescue teams on the ground can face a stiff challenge when it comes to communicating with the outside world and one another. Of course, our favorite problem solvers are here to help: tiny flying robots.
The project comes from Swiss-based lab EPFL, and involves a swarm of micro air vehicles that will fly over a disaster site in a holding pattern. The flying ‘bots themselves will act as an ad hoc network, allowing rescue workers to use their phones and computers and the like.
The best part of it all could be how easy the SMAVNET — or Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network — is to set up. To take off, all they need is one person to chuck them into the air, and they’re light enough that several can be carried at once. When the project is done, the swarm lands, making it as mobile as rescue workers need to be.