The University of Essex will have it's own fleet of tiny robotic helicopters to do it's bidding, if It's Ultra-Swarm (it's begging for a TM after that...) project, based on Linux and embedded processors 'takes off':
The University of Essex's UltraSwarm project is an experiment in swarm intelligence and wireless cluster computing that might one day spawn military surveillance applications. In one scenario, a flock of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, with video cameras could take in a hostile landscape from a variety of angles and process the image locally, in the sky.
For their proof of concept, the researchers are using lightweight $69 Proxflyer Bladerunner toy helicopters equipped with gumstix processors -- tiny self-contained computers weighing 8 grams (0.28 ounces), but packing enough power to run the Linux 2.6 kernel and communicate over a built-in Bluetooth module.
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So, if you're at the University of Essex, be warned. Soon there'll be no place to hide from the prying eyes of the campus Black Helicopter squadron.
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