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As part of their Embedded Systems 472 class at the University of Washington this quarter, electrical engineering students were challenged to develop their own control systems for a fleet of Parrot AR quadrocopter drones — allowing them to fly both manually and autonomously.

So how did they do? See the accompanying videos for some of the pure awesomeness on display in the atrium this week at the UW computer science and engineering building.

In the dancing video above, the drone is running autonomously, essentially choreographed by an algorithm. The drone flying the speed course below is on manual controls.

The drones will also be the the subject of a UW CSE capstone course this spring, involving many of the same students. See more in the video below from our visit to the event, plus an interview in which UW prof Shwetak Patel explains the background and implications of the technology.

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