This Linux-based “swarming micro air vehicle” project is a fairly simple, yet impressive build. The robotics project uses a fleet of micro-light flying robots to made out of polypropylene sheets. Weighing just 420g and with a wingspan of 80cms, they are propelled by an electric motor that runs on small LiPo batteries (max battery life is 30 minutes). The aerial robots fly on autopilot which controls altitude, airspeed and turn rate. A microcontroller in the autopilot chooses the most economical flight strategy taking feedback from three sensors: a gyroscope and two pressure sensors.
Although the UAVs are typicalls on autopilot, they can be monitored and controlled from an interface on a laptop. The beauty of the swarm is in the way each plane communicates wirelessly with the others to maintain the objective of the swarm.