Flying autonomously is more difficult than driving because the hardware needs to be compact and light, and because even the slightest miscalculation can result in disaster. One U.S. company answered the challenge.
The drone developed by Skydio uses a camera together with vision-processing software that lets the aircraft determine where it is in space, and to identify and avoid obstacles.
Adam Bry, CEO of the company, said that technology lets an unmanned aerial vehicle not only to avoid obstacles but also to navigate at high speeds through busy airspace as expertly as a human pilot.
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Bry developed the algorithms that enable this with Abraham Bachrach, who is now Skydio’s chief technology officer, while both were students at MIT. The techniques they came up with made it possible for drones to navigate through unfamiliar indoor spaces safely and for a plane with a two-foot wingspan to weave its way around a busy garage without crashing.
That kind of autonomy could transform the consumer drone market by making aircraft much harder to crash. It could also make it easier for drones to do tasks autonomously even in busy settings. Skydio, founded last year, has so far raised $25 million in funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners. Bry declined to say when Skydio’s first product would appear or how much it might cost.
Via: MIT Technology Review