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Technology

This Drone Has Learned How To Dodge Swords

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockApr 6 2016, 23:10 UTC
849 This Drone Has Learned How To Dodge Swords
Touché! Ross Allen/Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics/YouTube

As graceful as drone video footage can look, drones themselves can look pretty clumsy when paired with something designed to take them down. However, a team of developers at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics has designed a drone with the dodging and ducking skills of Muhammad Ali.

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In their research paper, they explain how the drone’s abilities come from an application of machine learning. The drone is fitted with motion-capture sensors that send real-time data about its surrounding environment. Some rather daunting-looking algorithms then quickly work out whether a change in its surroundings is a “threat,” and if so, calculates an appropriate move to dodge it.

The drone is designed to face all kinds of obstacles, and you can see how it fares against a fencing sword in the video below.

The drone's skills are pretty impressive as it is, but the team hopes to make its reactions even sharper in the future by using a whole range of visual, laser, and ultrasonic sensors. Additionally, they reckon this technology could someday be applied to spacecraft, self-driving cars, robotics, and even for use in the military.

 

 


Technology
  • drone,

  • robotics,

  • machine learning

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