A technological World First

In 2014, the world’s first autonomous outdoor flock of 10 quadcopters took off in Hungary. Tamás Vicsek and his research team at the Department of Biological Physics, Eötvös University, Budapest created flying robots that communicate with each other directly and solve tasks collectively in a self-organized manner, without human intervention. Tamás Vicsek – among widespread scientific achievements – is one of the internationally recognized founders of collective motion research and among the top cited researchers in Hungary.

The project was estabilished as part of the EU founded ERC COLLMOT grant (led by Tamás Vicsek) aiming at understanding universal rules of collective motion. The robotic group of COLLMOT, led by Gábor Vásárhelyi used bio-inspiration from the collective motion of animals to succeed in creating an autonomous robotic flock. Their publication results received international attention within and even outside of the strict scientific community (Nature, Science, New Scientist, New York Times, Scientific American, Times, Newsweek, CNN, BBC, amongst many others).


Science and Art combined

In collaboration with Nina Kov, a UK based artist and choreographer, pioneer in the field of New Technology and Dance (Associate Artist DanceDigital, PlacePrize nominated 2012) the COLLMOT team developed tools facilitating the interactivity between drones and humans, making possible the advancement that is Dancing with Drones.

We create cooperation between group of drones and humans through movement, which is instinctive and enjoyable for non-specialists as well. The show uniting the drones and human movements is now directed by Nina Kov.

In 2015, we created our own spin-off, CollMot Robotics in order to respond to the increasing demand of international cooperation, making possible an activity out of the scope of pure scientific context.

This is what other people had to say about Dancing with Drones and earlier works:

I highly recommend Nina Kov and Gabor Vasarhelyi’s work. Projects such as Dancing with Drones are unique and important to be pushed forward to continue transcending categories, connecting animal, robotic and human collective behaviour.

Roger Torrenti, CEO of Sigma-Orionis


This is remarkable work. It is the first outdoor demonstration of how biologically inspired rules can be used to create resilient yet dynamic flocks. [It suggests] we will be able to achieve large, coordinated robot flocks much sooner than many would have anticipated.

Iain Couzin, Princeton University, Nature.com – 26 February 2014 [source]

wired nina screenshot

Dancing with Drones- a collab between dancer and physicist to explore movement and behaviour (eg flocking) @ICTArt @ninakovdance

Anne Glover, former Chief Scientific Adviser to Jose Manuel Barroso, Twitter [source]

Copter was an incredible exploration of our interactions with technology and surveillance.
Original and captivating, the relationship between the two was varied and complex.
Aesthetica.com – Bryony Byrne [source]

★★★★★ The piece was powerful, and perhaps the only time I will ever see a helicopter dance. Truly remarkable.
Eqview.com – Stuart Forward [source]

★★★★ The human dancer and the product of technology dance around one another, creating a beautiful sequence that flows effortlessly.
Theupcoming.co.uk – Scarlet Howes [source]

A fable of human interaction with machine.
Writingaboutdance.com – Nicholas Minns [source]