They’re everywhere! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have done some amazing work with formation flying drones (make sure to check out the obstacle avoidance at the end).

Smarter flying robots are going to be a vital part of the future. They’re getting cheaper and more capable every day, and not everybody needs a multi-million dollar intercontinental spy to take out terrorists. The founders of the Genocide Intervention Network suggest that drones could be used by activists to record and prevent crimes against humanity and the environment. The Guardian reports that the UK drone industry is lobbying for special airspaces and colors to designate drones serving in the public interest. And futurist and security expert John Robb has been running a great series on how swarming drones are unstoppable by any weapon other than more drone swarm,s and that drones represent a new tool for diplomatic policy, “comply or die.”

What’s in store for the future of drones? I don’t know, but for politicians, police, and the paparazzi, drones are just too useful to give up. Keep watching the skies!