NASA Exploring Using Mini-drones

Elizabeth Borneman


Drones are all over the news, and in some places, all over the skies. NASA has gotten in on the drone action themselves, testing unique mini-drones that are manufactured in Sweden.

The company is called Bitcraze, and they have developed a way to pre-program miniature drones to work on projects autonomously. The drones are equipped with an autonomous positioning technology called Crazyflie, which allows the drones to fly in formations with up to 49 other drones.

NASA has been working with Bitcraze since 2009 to perfect the technology used in the miniature drones. NASA has not revealed why they are particularly interested in Bitcraze’s drones, other than their usefulness in their autonomous positioning technology. While it’s unknown what NASA may use the mini-drones for, these swarms can potentially assists with search and rescue, light shows, and other uses.

Drones in Sweden have recently been classified as surveillance devices if they have camera capabilities on them. However, the rules regarding camera drones don’t apply to Bitcraze’s drones, so there are fewer permits that need to be gathered in order to operate them.

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NASA certainly could benefit from advances in drone technology, as will the drone industry in Sweden. More and more companies are looking for ways in which they can utilize drone technology to make their jobs easier.

More: Why Nasa is testing these Swedish mini-drones

Watch this video demonstrating Crazyswarm, a swarm of 49 Crazyflie 2.0 nano-quadcopters operating in a new experimental robotics building at USC.

YouTube video


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About the author
Elizabeth Borneman
My name is Elizabeth Borneman and I am a freelance writer, reader, and coffee drinker. I live on a small island in Alaska, which gives me plenty of time to fish, hike, kayak, and be inspired by nature. I enjoy writing about the natural world and find lots of ways to flex my creative muscles on the beach, in the forest, or down at the local coffee shop.