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Some amazing work being done at the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. The video above shows a quadrocopter being flown sideways through open windows, doing backflips, and even landing upside down. The lab, which was recently selected to win one of Willow Garage's PR2 robots, specializes in "... General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP)".
In the video the quadrocopter knows its position, and the position of the openings via its internal IMU and a sophisticated motion capture system - the red lights and cameras (20 of them!) around the room. The video opens with the robot performing single, double, and triple flips in mid air! If that's not stunning enough, the next part shows how the robot can fly through any position in space with any reasonable "velocity and pitch angle", allowing it to fly through a window with less than 3 inches of clearance (~8 cm). It can also be used to decend through a hole, or fly between other quadrocopters in space.
Finally, the video shows the copter perching on a vertical surface via velcro. It can even land upsidedown! You must watch the video, as it's pretty stunning.
The work is done by Daniel Mellinger, Dr. Nathan Michael, and Dr. Vijay Kumar.
[Via DIY Drones]