Flying high-speed drones into the unknown with AI


When it comes to exploring complex and unknown environments such as forests, buildings or caves, drones are hard to beat. They are fast, agile and small, and they can carry sensors and payloads virtually everywhere. However, autonomous drones can hardly find their way through an unknown environment without a map. For the moment, expert human pilots are needed to release the full potential of drones. "To master autonomous agile flight, you need to understand the environment in a split second to fly the drone along collision-free paths," says Davide Scaramuzza, who leads the Robotics and Perception Group at the University of Zurich and the NCCR Robotics Rescue Robotics Grand Challenge.

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