Army advances learning capabilities of drone swarms

EurekAlert  August 10, 2020 The existing reinforcement learning schemes can only be applied in a centralized manner which requires pooling the state information of the entire swarm at a central learner resulting in increased computational complexity and communication requirements. To address this problem a team of researchers in the US (Oklahoma State University, Army Research Laboratory, North Carolina State University) is developing a theoretical foundation for data-driven optimal control for large-scale swarm networks, where control actions will be taken based on low-dimensional measurement data instead of dynamic models. It decomposes the global control objective into multiple hierarchies and a broad […]

Swarm of tiny drones explores unknown environments

Science Daily  October 23, 2019 An international team of researchers (the Netherlands, UK) developed the swarm gradient bug algorithm (SGBA) that allows a swarm of tiny flying robots to autonomously explore an unknown environment and subsequently come back to the departure point. It maximizes coverage by having robots travel in different directions away from the departure point. The robots navigate the environment and deal with static obstacles on the fly by means of visual odometry and wall-following behaviors. They communicate with each other to avoid collisions and maximize search efficiency. The robots perform a gradient search toward a home beacon […]

DJI Promises to Add “AirSense” to Its New Drones

IEEE Spectrum   May 22, 2019 DJI, a drone manufacturer in China, has announced that after January 1, 2020 all drones manufactured by the company that weigh more than 250 grams will include AirSense technology, which receives ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters and warns drone pilots if they appear to be on a collision course. Until now AirSense was available only on some professional-grade DJI drones. The move sets a new standard by putting professional-grade aviation safety technology in drones available to everyone…read more. Video 

Growing Drone Industry Spawns a Growing Antidrone Industry

IEEE Spectrum  March 26, 2019 FAA report to address the rogue drones is due to be released in about two months. It’s not technically difficult to detect even a small drone with suitable radar equipment. But the tricky part is distinguishing them from birds, which have about the same radar cross section. The signals recorded by the right radar will register these differences between birds and drones. Once a drone has been spotted flying someplace it shouldn’t be, there are all sorts of ways to neutralize it or take control over the drone and force it to land or fly […]

Autonomous drones that can ‘see’ and fly intelligently  February 6, 2019 Researchers in Australia used an Xbox Kinect sensor as an input camera to help drones ‘see’ their environment. They developed algorithms to process the video footage image by image, to help the drones know their own speed, motion, and to detect obstacles so they can reach their target position. The algorithm uses the images the drone ‘sees’ and compares the same pixel to detect the differences in 2-D images and calculates the speed and location of drones in 3-D space. As the RGB-D cameras are still in their infancy, they suffer from performance drawbacks such as […]

New Foldable Drone Flies Through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

Science Daily  December 12, 2018 Researchers in Switzerland propose a novel, simpler, yet effective morphing design for quadrotors consisting of a frame with four independently rotating arms that fold around the main frame. To guarantee stable flight at all times, they exploit an optimal control strategy that adapts on the fly to the drone morphology. Using a fully autonomous quadrotor relying solely on onboard visual-inertial sensors and compute, they demonstrated the versatility of the proposed adaptive morphology in different tasks, such as negotiation of narrow gaps, close inspection of vertical surfaces, and object grasping and transportation…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

The first worldwide drone standards have been unveiled to keep aircraft safe

MIT Technology Review  November 22, 2018 The International Organization for Standardization has released a draft set of standards for drone operations for public consultation. The standards are expected to be adopted worldwide later next year. The document suggests geo-fencing technology to stop flights in restricted areas, there should be flight logging, training, and maintenance requirements. Crucially, it also says a fail-safe means of human intervention is mandatory for all drone flights, establishing accountability for drone operators. These standards are the first of four sets covering aerial drones, with the next three set to dig deeper into technical specifications, manufacturing quality, and […]

Internet of Drones (IoD): Threats, Vulnerability, and Security Perspectives

Arxiv  August 1, 2018 According to the researchers in South Korea IoD can enhance the state-of-the-art for drones while leveraging services from the existing cellular networks. However, it is vulnerable to malicious attacks over open-air radio space. Due to increasing threats and attacks, there has been a lot of attention on deploying security measures for IoD networks. In this paper, critical threats and vulnerabilities of IoD are presented, taxonomy is created to classify attacks based on the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the networking of drone and their incorporation in the existing cellular setups. It summarizes the challenges and research […]