The drones are agile, but they are not known accurately for a quick response. If you want to knock in the sky, you should cheat even a good throwing ball or window. This is no longer the case because researchers at the University of Zurich have created an unmanned aerial vehicle that can avoid autonomously thrown objects – even at close range.
In the video above, you can see a quad-corp showing these techniques. No one has tested with a wrench.) And some of those throws are pretty easy, but the unmanned aerial vehicle is still responding completely autonomously. And even though you've seen quadcopters that can move around a static object like a tree, it's much trickier to avoid moving things in the air.
"We widened the boundaries and wanted to see what this robot could do." University of Zurich study Davide Falanga told The Verge .
Using the automatic evacuation function of unmanned aircraft is useful for many use cases. It allows unmanned aerial vehicles to avoid flying birds or nearby humans. It is also useful for military and law enforcement deployments. For example, if an unmanned aircraft is monitoring a protest, avoidance of thrown objects is a very useful technique.
Falanga says avoiding dynamic objects is beyond Ken, the most commercial high-end unmanned airplane on the market today. He says that Skydio's R1 UAV is probably the best autonomous feature, but "still struggling to avoid moving objects."
Falanga and his colleagues, SuSung Kim and Davide Scaramuzza, There are many reasons for being limited. Technological factors such as the responsiveness of the UAV and the latency of the sensor are all bottlenecks. The easiest thing for humans (of course, in most cases) is very tricky in electronics.
Unmanned aerial vehicles at the University of Zurich have advantages over commercial quad copper: event cameras, advanced sensors. Traditional cameras record the set number of frames per second and deliver them to the software for processing, but the event camera only transmits data when the intensity of the pixel whose view changes is changing. This means less data usage and shorter latency. That is, faster response time.
Event cameras are still rare. It costs thousands of dollars and is not usually seen outside the lab. Falanga says they will eventually hit the mainstream, but it takes years of development to pull them at a reasonable cost. "In the long run, I think this camera will be used more and more."
Until then, the drones will have a good eye and will remain vulnerable to the thrower.