Boeing tries to control "swarm" of unmanned vehicles














Here's one straight from the "cool patents" file: Boeing filed a patent application earlier this year on a system and method for controlling a "swarm" of unmanned vehicles using body motions.

The patent filing notes that there's "significant interest in the use of remote, unmanned vehicles for various surveillance and exploration activities," including battlefield uses. It notes that current technology allows for the control of a single unmanned vehicle by way of a joystick.

But Boeing's approach would basically connect a human controller's body movements to the movements of more than one unmanned vehicle. Swarm technology has been a hotbed of R&D for the last few years.

"Body movements of the operator may be sensed to generate the operating commands. Wireless signals may be transmitted to the unmanned object that correspond to the operating commands that control operation of the unmanned object."

The diagrams filed with the patent depict little helicopter that presumably could be controlled through motion. Imagine a swarm of these little whirlygigs swarming around you. Yikes!

Boeing's been doing research for DARPA on swarm technology and use in spacecrafts for the Pentagon's DARPA agency, according to this Gizmodo post from last year.

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