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‘New Drones’ that can Fly & Navigate on it’s Own!

Drones are one of the most Fascinating Gadgets of Twenty First century. The upgradation and technological advancements in this field is springing new surprises every now and then. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are part of most sought after sophisticated Gadgetry in the last decade and a half.

Till now this technology is heavily relied on Global Positioning System, Satellite Navigation, Radars and Human Input for their Flight and Navigation but a new study currently undertaken in Australia is going to overhaul all the dynamics; by using Biologically inspired principles for these self flying Drones – that too without any external input or assistance.

A team Lead by professor Mandyam Srinivsan at University of Queensland in Australia are doing the research on budgerigars and bees and their flying patterns so they can use these findings to develop this new tech which will revolutionise the functioning of these UAV’S forever.

“We study how small airborne creatures such as bees and birds use their vision to avoid collisions with obstacles, fly safely through narrow passages, control their height above the ground and more,” said Professor Mandyam Srinivasan, who is leading the research.

“We then use biologically inspired principles to design novel vision systems and algorithms for the guidance of UAVs,” he said.


At first glance, insects and birds have very different brains in terms of size and architecture, yet the visual processing in both animals is very effective at guiding their flight. ‘Bees’ brains weigh a tenth of a milligram and carry far fewer neurones than our own brains; yet the insects are capable of navigating accurately to food sources over 10 km away from their hive,” said Srinivasan

“Birds too can perform incredible aerobatics and navigational feats. These animals are clearly using simple and elegant strategies, honed by thousands of years of evolution,” he said. The team compares the flight of bees and budgies in particular because they are easy animals to study.

“These animals are clever, can be easily trained, and possess sophisticated visual systems that are not unlike those of our own,” said Srinivasan. “The study of their behaviour could also reveal some of the basic principles of visual guidance in a number of organisms including humans,” he said.

By doing the thorough and detailed research work on this technology, the programmes and algorithms can be incorporated in the systems of these drones. This will make it a reality for the World to be a safer place, because that is the most important aspect of this technology.

Source: The Asian Age