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UAVs

Crops are key for a sustainable food production and we face several challenges in crop production. First, we need to feed a growing world population. Second, our society demands high-quality foods. Third, we have to reduce the amount agrochemicals that we apply to our fields as it directly affects our ecosystem. Precision farming techniques offer a great potential to address these challenges, but we have to acquire and provide the relevant information about the field status to the farmers such that specific actions can be taken.

This paper won the IEEE Robotics & Automation Best Automation Paper Award at ICRA 2017.

Autonomous exploration and reliable mapping of unknown environments corresponds to a major challenge for mobile robotic systems. For many important application domains, such as industrial inspection or search and rescue, this task is further challenged from the fact that such operations often have to take place in GPS-denied environments and possibly visually-degraded conditions.

by   -   May 15, 2017
PhoneDrone Ethos, Kickstarter campaign. Credit: xCraft/YouTube

JD Claridge’s story epitomizes the current state of the drone industry. Claridge, founder of xCraft, is best known for being the first contestant on Shark Tank to receive money from all the Sharks – even Kevin O’Leary! Walking the floor of Xponential 2017, the annual convention of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems Integration (AUVSI), Claridge remarked to me how the drone industry has grown up since his TV appearance.

by and   -   May 23, 2016

aerial-robot-robotics

Autonomous exploration of unknown environments corresponds to a critical ability and a major challenge for aerial robots. In many cases, we would like to rely on the ability of an intelligent flying system to completely and efficiently explore the previously unknown world and derive a consistent map of it. On top of this basic skill, one can then work on several tasks such as infrastructure inspection, hazard detection, and more.

What are you thinking? Robots and humans working together need to understand – and even trust – each other. NASA Johnson/flickr
What are you thinking? Robots and humans working together need to understand – and even trust – each other. NASA Johnson/flickr

If we are serious about long-term human presence in space, such as manned bases on the moon or Mars, we must figure out how to streamline human-robot interactions.

According to Scientific American, NASA is using a Global Hawk, a high-altitude long-endurance drone, to study El Niño.

by and   -   January 20, 2016

With their near-vertical walls and deep fractures, glacier crevasses are dangerously narrow ice caves that present a huge risk to search and rescue teams. In a partnership between Flyability (Winner of the 2015 UAE Drones for Good Award) and the Zermatt Glacier mountain rescue team, drones were used to explore a remote crevasse in the Swiss Alps. The goal is to one day use the drones to help locate injured parties before dispatching a rescue team into dangerous territory, and also to help refine rescue techniques related to crevasse fall emergencies.

by   -   January 19, 2016

Getting drones to fly around without hitting things is no small task. Obstacle-detection and motion-planning are two of computer science’s trickiest challenges because of the complexity involved in creating real-time flight plans that avoid obstacles and handle surprises like wind and weather. In a pair of projects announced this week, CSAIL researchers demonstrated software that allow drones to stop on a dime to make hairpin movements over, under, and around some 26 distinct obstacles in a simulated “forest.”

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich released footage of a display that set the Guinness World Record for most drones in the air at a time.

The US is expected to close the drone base at Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

In the first known lethal strike by a Chinese-made drone, an Iraqi military CH-4 drone launched a strike against suspected ISIL militants in Ramadi. Iraq acquired the Caihong-4, a Chinese version of the American MQ-9 Reaper, earlier this year.

A team at Rutgers University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has developed a drone that can both fly and swim.

Washington_ADIZ-FRZ_No_Fly_ZoneWith the holiday season approaching, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that up to one million new drones will be entering U.S. airspace, creating potentially dangerous situations for unmanned and manned aircraft. A new study released by The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College offers a comprehensive examination of incidents involving drones and manned aircraft in the national airspace over the past two years.

The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent filed by Amazon last year that shows a design for an obstacle avoidance system for the company’s proposed Prime Air delivery drones.

Switzerland concluded a deal with Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems to purchase an unspecified number of Hermes 900 drones, a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. The $200 million deal will be fulfilled over four years.



High-Performance Autonomous Vehicles
October 14, 2017


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