The U.S. military has successfully tested a large swarm of micro-drones.
A video released by the Department of Defense shows the Perdix micro-UAV swarm being dropped from fighter jets in a test last year at China Lake, Calif. on Oct. 26, 2016.
Three F/A-18’s were deployed to launch the swarm of 103 micro-drones.
The drones, which have a wingspan of 12 inches, operate autonomously and share a distributed brain. They use artificial intelligence to carry out formations and collective decision-making. The drones are to be used for surveillance purposes.
“Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, the BBC reported. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”
The drones were first designed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but were modified for military testing.