Since at least 2010, researchers at the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania have been working with nano quadrotors, a type of microdrone, managing to get them to fly aggressively, build a tower structure, fly in perfect formation, and even play the James Bond theme on makeshift instruments.
But things don’t always go according to a plan. A video posted to YouTube by Daniel Mellinger, a researcher at the GRASP Lab, shows a series of what he calls “spectacularly unsuccessful experiments” performed at the lab.
The video was posted in June but is being shared more widely now that quadrotors have become somewhat well-known — in part because of worries about the domestic drones.
The quadrotor fails include the robot falling off a box, crashing into a table and taking several nosedives.
Evan Lerner, Science News Officer at the University of Pennsylvania, explained to BlogPost that the researchers were able to capture the failed experiments on video because they work under the philosophy: “Film everything, because it just might work.”
“They have to film all of their experiments because when they are pulishing, this is the evidence that this thing works,” said Lerner. “[Quadrotor research] has been a multi-year project, and it’s taken years to get to this point of precision.”
Watch the quadrotors flying with far more precision below: