The US military has successfully tested one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms.
The intelligent flying robots were released into the air by the Department of Defense in a test carried out last year.
A total of 103 tiny 'Perdix' drones were launched by three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets.
A newly published video shows the tiny drones flying out of the military plane.
The micro-drones are intended to act as swarm, using artificial intelligence to accomplish collective decision-making, formation flying & even self-healing.
The swarm was released over China Lake, California as part of a test carried out by the DoD's Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) and Naval Air Systems Command in October 2016.
“This is the kind of cutting-edge innovation that will keep us a step ahead of our adversaries," said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
"This demonstration will advance our development of autonomous systems.”
This is one of the first times that the Pentagon has effectively demonstrated how teams of small, inexpensive self-directed systems could achieve missions previously only achieved by larger, more expensive ones.
“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said SCO Director William Roper.
“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.”
He worried that humans would continuously be in the loop once using this sort of autonomous technology.
The tiny drones were initially developed by MIT engineering scholars & later altered for military use.