Now drone navigation through difficult terrain has acquired a whole new meaning.
At MIT, a new breed of drones are being manufactured from scratch that have a lot going for them. These special fliers have the ability to travel at high speed and avoid any inadvertent collision with some object that may lie in their path.
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The team of researchers at MIT who are busy working on the novelty drones have made the methodology an open source item. Going at speeds of 30 mph, the drones actually miss any hindrances along the way with alacrity and acumen.
Andrew Barry who is a PhD designed the drone in its prototypical form. The drone can maneuver itself around objects that get in its way. It can swerve and parry and dodge any obstacles set in its path.
This is indeed quite a new trend in drone technology. It was invented while Barry was working on his thesis. He wanted to design an obstacle-descrying system and what finer piece of technology to start the quest with than a drone.
After all, drone technology is not just for evil purposes by big government technocrats. It can be used to deliver all sorts of goods and may even be employed to engage in races between enthusiastic owners.
Barry mentioned that while every type of drone was being built by every Tom, Dick and Harry today, no one had tried to construct an autonomous drone. Most drones often get hit by an object in their path and thus become dysfunctional at the drop of a hat.
The issue is that the current detectors are laser devices and they are too unwieldy and bulky to be installed onto a drone. Besides this, creating a map of the situation beforehand is very difficult. The solution was to create an algorithm that worked in real life instead of solely on the drawing board.
Barry went ahead and developed just such a thing. His stereo-vision algorithm is quicker than other samples of software 20 times over which is a lot. This unique drone weighs a pound and has wings that measure 34 inches. The price tag is $1700.
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A camera is installed on each wing and the cells it employs are the sort found in mobile phones. The computational complexity that went into the making of this baby is phenomenal. Future tweaking and fine-tuning may make it a marketable item par excellence.