Self-organizing micro helicopters to display three dimensional images.
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The inadvertent online posting of a video broke news on an ambitious project by researchers at MIT's SENSEable City and ARES Labs in the US this week. The Flyfire project aims to use a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters, each containing a small LED, to display three dimensional images.
The project has constructed a prototype helicopter with two counter-rotating propellers carrying a small transparent sphere that can take different colors on command. A computer simulation shows about 200 spheres used as smart pixels to two dimensional images such as a picture of the mona lisa as well as three dimensional shapes such as curved surfaces, cubes or clouds of swarming pixels.
According to the researchers, the project "serves as an initial step to explore and imagine the possibilities of this free-form display: a swarm of pixels in a space".