Archive for the ‘drones’ category: Page 11

Feb 7, 2023

Echolocation could give small robots the ability to find lost people

Posted by in categories: drones, information science, robotics/AI

Scientists and roboticists have long looked at nature for inspiration to develop new features for machines. In this case, researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland were inspired by bats and other animals that rely on echolocation to design a method that would give small robots that ability to navigate themselves — one that doesn’t need expensive hardware or components too large or too heavy for tiny machines. In fact, according to PopSci, the team only used the integrated audio hardware of an interactive puck robot and built an audio extension deck using cheap mic and speakers for a tiny flying drone that can fit in the palm of your hand.

The system works just like bat echolocation. It was designed to emit sounds across frequencies, which a robot’s microphone then picks up as they bounce off walls. An algorithm the team created then goes to work to analyze sound waves and create a map with the room’s dimensions.

In a paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the researchers said existing “algorithms for active echolocation are less developed and often rely on hardware requirements that are out of reach for small robots.” They also said their “method is model-based, runs in real time and requires no prior calibration or training.” Their solution could give small machines the capability to be sent on search-and-rescue missions or to previously uncharted locations that bigger robots wouldn’t be able to reach. And since the system only needs onboard audio equipment or cheap additional hardware, it has a wide range of potential applications.

Feb 6, 2023

Watch a UK drone firm perform a world-first microgravity experiment

Posted by in category: drones


The firm, called Gravitilab, flew its specially-modified LOUIS UAV quadcopter to an altitude of 2,000 feet (600 meters) before purposefully dropping a capsule carrying scientific experiments.

Feb 5, 2023

Watch a drone drop a microgravity capsule in 1st-of-its-kind experiment (video)

Posted by in category: drones

A British startup has performed a first-of-its-kind microgravity experiment using a drone.

The company, called Gravitilab, flew its adapted quadcopter to an altitude of 2,000 feet (600 meters), where it dropped a specially designed capsule carrying scientific experiments.

Feb 1, 2023

Snap hints at future AR glasses powered by generative AI

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, drones, information science, robotics/AI

Social media company and Snapchat maker Snap has for years defined itself as a “camera company,” despite its failures to turn its photo-and-video recording glasses known as Spectacles into a mass-market product and, more recently, its decision to kill off its camera-equipped drone. But that hasn’t stopped the company from envisioning a future where AR glasses are a commonly used device, and one, as the company revealed on Tuesday’s fourth-quarter earnings call, that will eventually be powered by AI technology.

Investors wanted to get a sense of how Snap was thinking about the latest developments in AI — particularly in buzzy areas like generative A.I. which has benefitted from advances in algorithms, language models, and the increased processing power available to run the necessary calculations. One pointed to the AI image generator Midjourney’s bot for Discord, as an example of how AI could lead to increased user engagement within an app.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel agreed that, in the near term, there were a lot of opportunities to use generative AI to make Snap’s camera more powerful. However, he noted that further down the road, AI would be critical to the growth of augmented reality, including AR glasses.

Jan 31, 2023

Toroidal Propellers Turn Your Drones And Boats Into Noiseless Machines

Posted by in category: drones

MIT lincoln laboratory and US-based sharrow marine have proposed unique toroidal propellers that could revolutionize aerial + marine sectors.

Jan 28, 2023

U.S. Military Plans to Deploy Laser Weapons by 2025

Posted by in categories: drones, economics, military

The DEIMOS laser weapon is seen here in illustration, capable in the near future of knocking a drone, ordinance, aircraft and even missiles out of the sky.

It is the economics of laser weapon systems that makes this type of ordinance so attractive. At the moment various vendors like Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon are building 50 Kilowatt laser weapons. But there is no determining limit on the strength. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates a 100 Kilowatt laser could easily handle a drone, a small boat, a shell fired by artillery, and even a mortar. For a cruise missile, the estimate is a 300 Kilowatt laser, and for a ballistic missile or hypersonic weapon, a 1 Megawatt laser. Lockheed Martin is already testing a 300 Kilowatt version of DEIMOS.

The US Navy is looking at 100 Kilowatt versions of DEIMOS for its ships and looks like it will replace arming vessels with rail gun technology which now appears to be considered obsolete. Rail guns were high-speed ordinance systems designed to knock down incoming cruise missiles but when costs are compared the laser has the technology beat.

Continue reading “U.S. Military Plans to Deploy Laser Weapons by 2025” »

Jan 27, 2023

MIT’s latest drone propellers are very quiet and efficient

Posted by in category: drones

They consist of two blades looping together so that the tip of one blade curves back into the other.

The MIT Lincoln lab has produced some new devices for aircraft and drones that make some impressive efficiency gains and are radically quieter.

“The toroidal propeller allows a small multirotor unpiloted aircraft, or drone, to operate more quietly than current drones that use propeller forms unchanged since the beginning of aviation,” said a statement by the lab.

Jan 9, 2023

A drone that never lands? Scientists in China test lasers to keep drones aloft ‘forever’

Posted by in categories: drones, military

The method would charge drones while their airborne, meaning they would never have to land.

A team of researchers from the Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in China has developed a method for using high-energy laser beams to keep drones airborne “forever,” according to a report from The South China Morning Post.

Laser-powered drones could remain aloft “forever”.

Continue reading “A drone that never lands? Scientists in China test lasers to keep drones aloft ‘forever’” »

Jan 9, 2023

Can Drones And Artificial Intelligence Keep Us Safe From Sharks?

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

You might be rolling your eyes as you see the drone take off to the skies and hover over the Australian coastline, camera angled straight down towards the glistening turquoise water. “Another TikTok influencer trying to get the perfect shot,” you grumble to yourself. But if you look closely at the pilot, you’ll notice they’ve got a sign next to them that says “Keep Clear” in bright yellow and red letters. This is no TikTok influencer.

It’s an Australian surf lifesaver, using the above drone to spot sharks at the beach before they get too close to swimmers like yourself.

Continue reading “Can Drones And Artificial Intelligence Keep Us Safe From Sharks?” »

Jan 7, 2023

How drone deliveries could save lives and make streets safer

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

At CES 2023, industry experts weighed in on why drones should be your next delivery vehicle.

Drone deliveries could help reduce unnecessary deaths on roads and improve the environment, industry experts explained Friday.

For example, delivering that hamburger helper via a drone versus someone getting in their car and driving to a place…

Continue reading “How drone deliveries could save lives and make streets safer” »

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