Drone swarms can now autonomously fly & track you through dense forest

Researchers have created a swarm of small drones capable of navigating around obstacles in the wild while remaining coordinated.

Published Tue, May 10 2022 4:43 AM CDT

A study on the drone swarm titled "Swarm of micro flying robots in the wild" has been published in the journal Science Robotics.

Researchers from Zhejiang University have created a purpose-built swarm of ten palm-sized drones, each equipped with depth cameras, altitude sensors, and onboard computers, that can navigate through unstructured environments with obstacles such as a forest.

The drones don't rely on any external infrastructure like GPS and are instead powered by flight algorithms that incorporate collision avoidance and coordination throughout the swarm. Researchers tested the drones in multiple scenarios; a dense bamboo forest, a high-traffic experiment where they had to avoid other drones, and following a human target.

Real-life applications could include surveys of natural disaster zones, but military applications of drone swarms have also caught the eye of institutions like The Pentagon, which is conducting its own tests.

You can read more from the study here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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