At the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar studies the control and coordination of multi-robot formations.

Why you should listen

At the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, at the University of Pennsylvania, flying quadrotor robots move together in eerie formation, tightening themselves into perfect battalions, even filling in the gap when one of their own drops out. You might have seen viral videos of the quads zipping around the netting-draped GRASP Lab (they juggle! they fly through a hula hoop!). Vijay Kumar headed this lab from 1998-2004; he's now the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he continues his work in robotics, blending computer science and mechanical engineering to create the next generation of robotic wonders.

Vijay Kumar’s TED talk

Vijay Kumar on the TED Blog
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Ideas

15 years of drones at TED, in five GIFs

November 20, 2013

In 1998, aircraft designer Paul MacCready gave a live demo of his two-ounce unmanned surveillance drone on the TED stage in Monterey. “You see what it sees. Imagine you’re a fly,” he told the assembled audience, who watched the drone’s footage projected onto the screen in front of them. (The moment is captured in the […]

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Technology

When flying robots meet mind control

October 1, 2012

Everything is a remix, Kirby Ferguson told us at TEDGlobal 2012, explaining that the essence of creativity is the welding together of others’ ideas to form something new. We couldn’t help but think of this when we saw an article on TheVerge.com about researchers at Zhejiang Univeristy’s CCNT lab who have combined brainwave technology and airborne robotics […]

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Quotes from Vijay Kumar

[Agile aerial] robots like this have many applications. You can send them inside buildings as first responders to look for intruders, maybe look for biochemical leaks … [or they] can be used for transporting cargo.
Vijay Kumar
TED2012 • 3.3M views Mar 2012
Jaw-dropping, Fascinating
The dynamics of [quadrotor robots] are quite complicated. In fact, they live in a 12-dimensional space.
Vijay Kumar
TED2012 • 3.3M views Mar 2012
Jaw-dropping, Fascinating