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Swarm of Tiny Drones Explores Unknown Environments

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One of the drones in flight.

Researchers have developed a swarm of tiny drones that can explore unknown environments completely by themselves.

Credit: Guus Schoonewille/TU Delft

A swarm of tiny drones that can explore unknown environments on their own was created by researchers from the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Radboud University of Nijmegen, and the U.K.'s University of Liverpool.

The camera-equipped, 33-gram drones navigate autonomously, with limited sensing and computational capabilities.

A proof of concept for search-and-rescue operations demonstrated that a six-drone swarm could investigate about 80% of open rooms, and swarming added redundancy so data otherwise lost by one malfunctioning drone could be supplied by others.

A wireless communications chip installed in each drone allows them to detect and avoid each other by reading signal strength between the chips.

Delft’s Kimberly McGuire said, “The main advantages of this method are that it does not require extra hardware on the drone and that it requires very few computations.”

From Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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