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AR Drone That Infects Other Drones With Virus Wins DroneGames

Other projects included a leashed auto-tweeting drone, and code to control a swarm of drones all at once

2 min read
AR Drone That Infects Other Drones With Virus Wins DroneGames

AR Drones can be much, much more than awesome toys. Just recently, we've see how the (relatively) inexpensive and versatile flying robots have been used as researchtools, but the sky's the limit as to what you can do with them, so to speak. DroneGames, which took place over the weekend in San Francisco, tasked programmers with hacking the UAVs in the most interesting and creative ways possible.

DroneGames was held at the Groupon offices, and was sponsored by the likes of Groupon itself, Windows Azure, and NodeCopter, which recently started this helihacking movement. Nine teams took part in the competition, which was judged by Chris Anderson (of DIYDrones and now 3DRobotics), Dale Dougherty (founder of MAKE), Andreas Raptopoulos (co-founder of Matternet), and a couple other people. From what I can tell, entries were judged mostly on awesomeness, and the results certainly reflect that:

  • In third place was "TooTall Nate," with a hack that lets you an AR Drone over a cellular networks with a Verizon MiFi card, resulting in unlimited range as long as you've got a decent cell connection.
  • Second place went to a team of freshmen from Stanford, who figured out a way to control lots of different drones with just one computer. They'll be putting it up on Github, just search for "multidrone."
  • And in first place was James Halliday, who wrote a virus that will infect an AR Drone, and then use that drone to infect any other AR Drones it comes across, "causing them all to be p0wned and run amok." Or if you want to be less evil about it, it's a handy way to automatically deploy software onto a bunch of AR Drones at once. It's available on Github under "virus-copter."

A crowd favorite seemed to be the project in the picture up top, from engineers at Groupon. They taught a drone to behave itself on the end of a leash, which is neat, but it's also constantly taking pictures and performing facial recognition, posting the resulting images to Twitter in real-time.

The event looks to have been a lot of fun and quite a success, and for more, you can check out the TechCrunch link below, which includes some fairly bad (but not entirely abysmal) videos of a few of the demos.

[ DroneGames ] via [ TechCrunch ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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