Flying MAV Navigates Without GPS (w/ Video)

Nov 02, 2009 by Lisa Zyga weblog
MIT MAV
The MAV uses lasers and new algorithms to estimate its relative position, build a map, and locate a clear path. Image credit: MIT Robust Robotics Group.

(PhysOrg.com) -- During the last several years, researchers have been building micro air vehicles (MAVs) that can autonomously fly through different environments by relying on GPS for navigation. Recently, a team of researchers has designed an MAV that can navigate unknown environments without GPS, which could enable it to overcome several limitations of GPS-dependent vehicles.

The new MAV is being designed by the Robust Robotics Group at MIT's and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Their work is motivated by the fact that, in some places, such as dense urban environments or indoors, is noisy and maps are unavailable, which can cause MAVs to get lost, fly into dangerous regions, or collide with obstacles. Providing MAVs with a tool other than GPS to navigate these environments could help the vehicles avoid these problems.

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More information and videos: MIT's Robust Robotics Group

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antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 02, 2009
Impressive. Can it cope with mirrors in the hallways? Can it handle moving objects (dangling pipes, clouds of steam, moving animals/humans)? If it can this would make a great search/rescue bot in environments that might collapse and are deemed unsafe for human recue personell.
anonperson
not rated yet Dec 16, 2009
I can see the military clamoring for thousands of these... yesterday!

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