Swarms of drones flying in terrifyingly perfect formation could be one step closer, thanks to a control algorithm being developed at MIT.

The complexities involved in controlling teams of moving robots, so they do not crash into each other, or indeed wipe out other objects/entities that cross their path, is a hard problem that continues to keep roboticists' busy.

But the team of researchers at MIT reckon they have to make a breakthrough that could make perfect complex drone formations easier to pull off. They say their decentralized planning algorithm can handle both stationary and moving obstacles, and do so with reduced computational overheads.

Why are decentralized control algorithms better than centralized control algorithms? The basic answer is they are more resilient, given a centralized algorithm has a single point of failure if its central controller goes offline.

...continue reading, Natasha Lomas article here.