Video: Robotic Swiss Quadrocopters Hold Their Own At Tennis

A new event in the robolympics

Quadrocopters are already accomplished piano players and Kinect-assisted navigators. Now they are playing tennis.

ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena hosted a quadrocopter tennis match, involving a human-robot volley, a doubles match and an impressive robot-to-robot juggling act. The robots were outfitted with tennis rackets, allowing them to fly toward the ball and return a human’s serve. Watch it below.

Mark Müller, Sergei Lupashin and Raffaello D’Andrea conducted this experiment, part of ETH Zurich’s ongoing project examining adaptive high-performance maneuvers. The team was also responsible for teaching a quadrocopter to play a Christmas carol last year.

The quadrocopters are apparently pretty competitive — notice how they dive for the ball even when it’s out of reach.