Check out multirotors on the Colbert Report!!! The clip starts at about 15 minutes into the program.
The researcher, Missy Cummings Associate Professor from MIT, is developing better human multirotor interfaces to help people steer the units using only a smart phone, which makes me wonder how different it is from the Parrot AR.Drone.
Seeing this video reminded me of something I noticed when flying the Hexakopters on campus with Tom Allnutt last week, see his post here. Many people stopped and asked, ‘What is that?’, as usual, while we were out practicing in the Quad at UMBC. But almost everyone asked if we had put a camera on it, as if that was the obvious thing to do with such a cool device. I explained to them our research and that we do usually fly with cameras and thought to myself that something is different now then when we were practicing last year. In September 2010 when people asked us what we were doing they never asked if we were putting cameras on the devices and thought it was an odd thing to do when we told them about our work. Now it seems that the practice is even expected. I hope this signals a shift in perception about autonomous vehicles as useful tools for research and for recreational aerial photography and not just greater public awareness about the other uses of such devices.
UPDATE: I've been thinking about this post and in all fairness, the researcher is discussing the use of multirotors by the armed forces. I posted for the sake of noting the signifcance of the devices in pop-culture.