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Meet these dazzling flying machines of the future

PUBLISHED: 17:11 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:11 23 May 2016

'Rafaello D'Andrea speaks at TED 2016' TED Conference, Flickr CC2.0

'Rafaello D'Andrea speaks at TED 2016' TED Conference, Flickr CC2.0

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Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D'Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight in this incredible clip from TED Talks.

When you hear the word ‘drone’ you probably expect to hear about another near miss with a commercial air-liner, or those two bored Finnish farmers attaching a chainsaw to their drone so they can decapitate a snowman.

Well sorry to disappoint, but you’ll find none of that here.

Autonomous systems pioneer Raffaello D’Andrea demonstrates how drones can be innovative, intelligent and dare we say, beautiful. Pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight, Raffaello’s latest projects range from a flying wing that can hover and recover from a disturbance, to an eight-propeller craft that’s ambivalent to orientation. Our personal favourite is a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters that light up the sky like hundreds of fireflies.

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