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CIM-MRL robotic drone featured in IEEE Spectrum!

last modified 2011-01-08 14:04

Our own MRL group has developed a robotic drone that flies itself by looking at landscape below. Featured in IEEE Spectrum, December 12, 2010.

Robotic aircraft have taken to the skies, finding increasing use in military applications, law enforcement, environmental monitoring, and also becoming popular among hobbyists who want to build their own drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, have varied degrees of autonomy, though typically they depend on GPS and also on supervision from a human operator, who can send commands to the aircraft and receive images from its on-board cameras. Now researchers at the Centre for Intelligent Machines, in McGill University's Mobile Robotics Lab, in Montreal, Canada, are making these smart aircraft a bit smarter. They've developed a UAV control system that uses aerial images to identify visual cues on the landscape and steer the aircraft autonomously… Anqi Xu, a PhD student, and his advisor, Professor Gregory Dudek, director of the Mobile Robotics Lab, say that their current system is capable of following a coastline or a road surrounded by forests… The researchers presented their results at the IEEE/RSJ 2010 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in October.