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MIT researchers are working on a new steering system for drones that uses uncertainty to ensure that they don’t hit obstacles as they fly autonomously. The system is a bit complex but it’s called NanoMap and it quite simply finds ways to get from point A to point B without crashing and while handling random objects in its path.
Spectrum describes the system in detail but basically the drone takes a depth measurement as it moves along a path. Each time it takes a measurement and is about to move forward it looks back at previous measurements which could include some information pertinent to the current motion. If it can’t find anything useful it slows down and assesses the area and if it does find previous information it keeps flying, avoiding obstacles as it goes.
Models - Drone - Technique - Fly - Map
This is important because current models require a drone to map its surrounding before becoming “confident” that it can handle flying around more quickly. This technique creates an on the fly map that lets the drone handle uncertainty as opposed to being ready in every situation....
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