United States officials said on Monday it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones and they may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries.
In October last year, the test of the world’s largest micro-drone swarm in California included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement.
“The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing,” it said.
William Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office said “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.”
“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 added.
Perdix drones were originally created by engineering students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 and continuously improved since, and now it draws “inspiration from the commercial smartphone industry,” the Pentagon said.