Innovative detection system will allow drones to fly 10 times faster and not crash

Engineers from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, presented a revolutionary collision avoidance system for drones - nothing is faster or more accurate in the world yet. They proceeded from the assumption that reaction speeds of 20-40 milliseconds, as in many commercial drone systems, are not sufficient to organize the safe movement of high-speed drones. To demonstrate the capabilities of their brainchild, the Swiss used the bouncer game to teach drones to masterfully dodge balls flying in them.

The problem of drones reacting to obstacles has two roots. First, the flying machines have high speeds compared to ground-based drones. Secondly, the computational power is weak, so the on-board systems do not have time to analyze the situation and recognize the interference. As a solution, engineers replaced the old sensors with new ones, increasing the response speed to 3.5 milliseconds.

The new sensors only react to changes in the brightness of individual pixels in the frame and ignore others, so they need to process very little information to detect a moving object on a static or sedentary background. Hence the high reaction rate, but in practical experiments it was found out that neither the existing drones nor the cameras themselves were suitable for this purpose. The merit of the Swiss engineers is that they have redesigned both the cameras and the platform of the ATVs, as well as developed the necessary algorithms, actually creating a new system.

Drone with such a system in 90% of cases has time to evade the ball, which is thrown at a speed of 10 m / s from a distance of only 3 meters. 

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