By: Jeremy Bradley | Posted 1 May 2013
It's a mesmerizing, surreal scene. Eight tiny, unmanned aerial vehicles -- called quadrotors -- begin to rise from the ground in unison.
They hover at eye level, filling the room with a heavy buzzing sound. Then they move through a makeshift window, one at a time, and reform as a group on the other side.
This isn't happening on a Spielberg set, and it isn't science fiction. These real-life flying robots are at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab.
"This is a robot that's completely autonomous," said doctoral student Matthew Turpin, "and by that I mean there's no remote control in the background."