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Flying

For the first time an autonomously flying quadrotor has outperformed two human pilots in a drone race. The success is based on a novel algorithm that was developed by researchers of the University of Zurich. It calculates time-optimal trajectories that fully consider the drones’ limitations.

A commonly shared dream by engineers and fire & rescue services, would be to have swarms of such drones help in search-and-rescue scenarios, for instance to localize gas leaks without endangering human lives. Tiny drones are ideal for such tasks, since they are small enough to navigate in narrow spaces, safe, agile, and very inexpensive. In this article, we show how we tackled the complex problem of swarm gas source localization in cluttered environments by using a simple bug algorithm with evolved parameters, and then tested it onboard a fully autonomous swarm of tiny drones.

interview by   -   July 12, 2021

At Xwing, they are converting traditional aircraft into remotely operated aircraft. They do this by retrofitting planes with multiple sensors including cameras, radar, and lidar, and by developing sensor fusion algorithms to allow their planes to understand the world around them, using highly accurate perception algorithms.

Texas A&M’s Robin Murphy has deployed robots at 29 disasters, including three building collapses, two mine disasters and an earthquake as director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. She has also served as a technical search specialist with the Hillsboro County (Florida) Fire and Rescue Department. The Conversation talked to Murphy to provide readers an understanding of the types of technologies that search and rescue crews at the Champlain Towers South disaster site in Surfside, Florida, have at their disposal, as well as some they don’t.

by   -   May 20, 2021

Engineers at EPFL have developed a predictive control model that allows swarms of drones to fly in cluttered environments quickly and safely. It works by enabling individual drones to predict their own behavior and that of their neighbors in the swarm.

by   -   March 9, 2021

In the last online technical talk, Adam Bry and Hayk Martiros from Skydio explained how their company tackles real-world issues when it comes to drone flying.

by   -   March 2, 2021

If you’ve ever swatted a mosquito away from your face, only to have it return again (and again and again), you know that insects can be remarkably acrobatic and resilient in flight. Those traits help them navigate the aerial world, with all of its wind gusts, obstacles, and general uncertainty. Such traits are also hard to build into flying robots, but MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen has built a system that approaches insects’ agility.

How do honeybees land on flowers or avoid obstacles? One would expect such questions to be mostly of interest to biologists. However, the rise of small electronics and robotic systems has also made them relevant to robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). For example, small flying robots are extremely restricted in terms of the sensors and processing that they can carry onboard. If these robots are to be as autonomous as the much larger self-driving cars, they will have to use an extremely efficient type of artificial intelligence – similar to the highly developed intelligence possessed by flying insects.

Drone with event camera

Robotics researchers at the University of Zurich show how onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably – even without GPS.

by   -   October 31, 2020

By Nicola Nosengo

NCCR Robotics researchers at EPFL have developed a drone with a feathered wing and tail that give it unprecedented flight agility.

by   -   October 26, 2020

Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions – findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.

interview by   -   May 20, 2020

In this episode, Kate Zhou interviews Farrell Helbling, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Microrobotics lab, who has worked on developing the RoboBee, an insect-inspired robot that is the lightest vehicle to achieve untethered flight. Farrell discusses challenges with building the robot at centimeter-scale as well as integration of sensors and power electronics particularly in considerations with weight trade-offs.

by   -   March 19, 2020

Researchers from the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics have demonstrated a flying robot that can detect and avoid fast-moving objects. A step towards drones that can fly faster in harsh environments, accomplishing more in less time.

interview by   -   March 1, 2020


In this interview, Lilly interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean at the University of Pennsylvania. He discusses coordination, cooperation, and collaboration in multi-robot systems. He also explains where he draws inspiration from in his research, and why robotics has yet to meet science fiction.

interview by   -   December 27, 2018



In this interview, Audrow Nash interviews Kristoffer Richardsson, Michael Zillich, and Paulo Alvito.



Autonomous Aircraft by Xwing
July 12, 2021


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