Monday, August 2, 2021

AI-based drone defeats human pilots

An AI-based autonomous drone defeats two human pilots, in an astonishing race

image: media.uzh.ch
 
 

Researchers at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) created an algorithm that allowed an artificial intelligence-piloted drone to outperform a human pilot. The drone is a quadrotor, which means it has four rotors, allowing autonomous flying to be faster than that of a human, according to a statement.

Despite the benefits of its development, the drone lacks sufficient autonomy, making its battery one of its weak aspects. This is a regular occurrence with today's drones, which forces them to do duties as quickly as feasible.

This problem, however, does not appear to be as critical as it is with other drones because of an algorithm that quickly leads the drone through an artificial intelligence system. The device can conduct "time-optimal trajectories that completely consider the limits of drones," according to Davide Scaramuzza, head of the university's Robotics and Perception Group.

Philipp Foehn, a PhD student and the study's lead author, stressed that the algorithm "tells the drone to pass all landmarks, but not how or when to do it."

The researchers put their algorithm to the test in a race against two human pilots in the study. Prior to the testing, the three participants were able to practice on the circuit in order to compete on an equal footing.

Finally, the race was held, and the drone piloted by the new algorithm outperformed the humans. Its performance is also more consistent, according to the researchers. This research is the first time in history that an autonomous quadrotor has won a race against human pilots.

Article Author Gerluxe


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