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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Scientists develop new drone algorithms to promote aircraft passing through designated waypoints

Scientists develop new drone algorithms to promote aircraft passing through designated waypoints

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:19

To become more practical, drones need to fly faster. Due to battery endurance bottlenecks, drones must complete designated tasks in the shortest possible time, such as searching for survivors at disaster sites, inspecting buildings, transporting goods, and so on. Now, a research team at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the fastest trajectory to guide quadcopters through designated waypoints on their flight path.

"Our drone has defeated two world-class human controlled drones in fast lap times on the experimental track," said Davide Scaramuzza, head of the UZH Robotics and Perception Team, as well as the NCCR Robotics Rescue Robot Challenge.

Scaramuzza stated, "The uniqueness of this algorithm is that it is the first algorithm to generate a time optimal trajectory that fully considers the limitations of drones. Previous work relied on simplifying the description of quadcopter systems or flight paths, making them suboptimal.". The first author of the paper, Philipp Foehn, added, "The key to this algorithm is that it only tells the drone to pass through all waypoints, rather than assigning parts of the flight path to specific waypoints, but not how or when to do so.".

Subsequently, researchers competed the algorithm and two drone pilots on the same track. They use external cameras to accurately capture the motion of drones and, in the case of autonomous drones, provide algorithms with real-time information about drones at any time. To ensure fair comparison, human drivers have the opportunity to train on the track before the race. But the algorithm won: all its laps were faster than humans, and its performance was more stable. This is not surprising, as once the algorithm finds the optimal trajectory, it can faithfully reproduce it multiple times, unlike human operators.