A team of researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have created an independent system for drones. The new system is exclusively designed to find lost hikers under dense forest canopies or any other harsh area.
There is no GPS inside the system. The system will detect the lost hikers with the help of it’s on board computation and wireless communication.
The drones have laser range finders for various tasks such as localisation; path planning and estimation. The drones will create an individual 3D map of the terrain while flying. The algorithm helps the drones to spot the unexplored places and already-searched places; the ground station control fuses each map from the drones and converts it into a global 3D map that can be monitored by rescuers.
The researchers carried out the drone testing in a simulated forest, out of which two of the drones were tested inside a forest located within NASA’s Langley centre in the state of Virginia. The drones were mapping a twenty-metre area within 2-5 minutes and fused their maps together in real-time.
According to the researchers, in terms of overall speed and completion time, merging of maps, forest detection and other activities, the drones performed superbly. Rather than attaching cameras on the drones, producing a 3D map is more efficient and reliable.
At this year’s International Symposium on Experimental Robotics conference, the overall result and the report of the experiment and the new development will be showcased. The event will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 4 days (November 5 to 8).