A VIA Arena news release clued us in to research being done by Professor Andreas Mitschele at the Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany. Researchers at the Mobile Communications Lab there have developed flying quadrocopter robots equipped with GPS, a VIA Pico-ITX, and radio hardware for WiFi and mobile phone networking. The robots are dropped off at a disaster area, take off, create a self-organizing mesh network, and locate landing spots to afford maximum coverage. The prototype robot has only a 20 minute flying time but can power the communications gear much longer after landing. For more see the research poster on Self-org (PDF format). There's also video of the Quadrocopter robot in action (MP4 format).