“Spatially Targeted Communication and Self-Assembly,” a work by Nithin Mathews, Anders Lyhne Christensen, Rehan O’Grady, and Marco Dorigo, from Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, was presented at IROS 2012 in Vilamoura, Portugal. The video shows their research on swarm robots that team up even with a flying AR-Drone, in order to fulfill combined tasks together. A really nice aspect is that the drones working together as a group are highlighted by using different light colors. As the ground drones are not able to scan large areas, they are directly cooperating with the flying AR-drone to get a detailed overview on the sourounding area. You can find details on this work on Spacially Targeted Communication and Self-Assembly within their recent paper.
Gumstix pioneered the concept of an extremely small computer-on-module already in 2003 with a full implementation of Linux™. Today, they offer a multitude of different systems-on-a-chip in a really small size. Their systems come in the size of a stripe of gum, which is perfect for controlling an air-vehicle, such as a quadcopter or a air drone, like this plane. Gumstix new product line offers systems called IronSTORM, FireSTORM, AirSTORM, EarthSTORM and SandSTORM, that specify the different specific application areas for which these systems are designed for. The Gumstix systems come at a price between 199$ and 299$. The different systems offer 1Ghz ARM® Cortex™-A8 Core CPU with around 512MB RAM and WLAN as well as Bluetooth connectivity. A multitude of hirose boards offer plenty of sensoric extensions, that are perfect for building robots and drones.