The smart drones that can fly themselves without GPS: Photos
Researchers from Zurich university’s computer department have been demonstrating robot aircraft that can navigate to their destinations autonomously.
Robust visual odometry
Because the aim of the research work is to make the Zurich robots active in their environment and capable of gaining knowledge from it, they are designed to cope with sudden movements in the landscape.
The system’s robust visual odometry – the use of data from motion sensors to calculate changes in position – and probabilistic dense reconstruction algorithms mean the drone is not disturbed by movements beneath it.
The drone still captures an accurate 3D scan of objects under its flightpath.
The visual odometry, planning, and control algorithms run entirely onboard the drone on its smartphone processor.
(Image: RPG-UZH, Alain Herzog)