The end is nigh: Robots and drones are working together

The buddy system.
The buddy system.
Image: YouTube/Mark Hoepflinger
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The robot uprising seems to be closer every day. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich have built a robot dog that has a built-in pet drone it can deploy from its back Popular Mechanics reports.

Last week, researchers from ETH Zurich showed off a team of drones that could work together to build a bridge, without any human interaction. Now, the university has also created a frisky, capering robot with rather creepy giant blue eyes that works in tandem with a quadcopter drone.

The robot was created by the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, the lab’s deputy director, Marco Hutter, told Quartz. The drone on top is controlled by a winch, which is powered by the robo-dog.

Hutter said the drone would provide the autonomous robot an “eye in the sky,” and could potentially be developed to aid in search and rescue missions. The drone could act as a scout for the robot, showing it which way to proceed in an emergency situation. (Extrapolating wildly, this research could also set us upon the path to figuring out how to effectively build the first real version of Voltron.)

Hopefully, however, these robots don’t team up with Google’s Atlas robot, which can now barrel through the forest, or find the North Dakota police’s mace-equipped drones—or humans might be in for some trying times.