Reconfigurable Path Planning for an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we present a motion planning framework for a fully deployed autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle which integrates two sample-based motion planning techniques, Probabilistic Roadmaps and Rapidly Exploring Random Trees. Additionally, we incorporate dynamic reconfigurability into the framework by integrating the motion planners with the control kernel of the UAV in a novel manner with little modification to the original algorithms. The framework has been verified through simulation and in actual flight. Empirical results show that these techniques used with such a framework offer a surprisingly efficient method for dynamically reconfiguring a motion plan based on unforeseen contingencies which may arise during the execution of a plan. The framework is generic and can be used for additional platforms.

China's e-commerce dynamo JD makes deliveries via mobile robots


China's second-biggest e-commerce company, (Alibaba is first), is testing mobile robots to make deliveries to its customers, and imagining a future with fully unmanned logistics systems. On the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $13 billion, some deliveries were made using mobile robots designed by JD. It's the first time that the company has used delivery robots in the field. The bots delivered packages to multiple Beijing university campuses such as Tsinghua University and Renmin University. JD has been testing delivery robots since November last year.

Movidius breakthrough puts artificial intelligence on a USB stick


Irish chip maker Movidius has created the world's first deep learning USB stick that can add artificial intelligence (AI) to future products from self-driving cars to robots, and drones that will learn to think for themselves. Entitled the Fathom Neural Compute Stick, the device will sell for less than 100 and will allow powerful neural networks to be moved out of the cloud and deployed on new products like robots and drones. It is the latest breakthrough for the Dublin company, which has been winning major multi-million dollar deals with Google and drone maker DJI. 'With Fathom, every robot, big and small, can now have state-of-the-art vision capabilities' – DR YANN LECUN, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY "Any organisation can now add deep learning or machine intelligence to devices using the USB stick and create products that will be accessible to broader markets," Movidius co-founder David Moloney told "We've already seen how the auto industry has been outflanked by Tesla and this is also starting to affect other industries.

Video Friday: Robot Tentacle, Mars Flyer, and Destructive Drone Competition

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. Festo's Bionic Learning Network prototypes for this year are a bit less crazy than we're used to, but they're also far more practical, with immediate potential applications, especially in collaborative robotics: Festo presents a bionic gripper called the OctopusGripper, which is derived from an octopus tentacle. Free-moving, intuitive to operate and safe when interacting with the user: the pneumatic lightweight robot is based on the human arm and has great potential as a sensitive helper for human–robot collaboration in the future.