sFly UAVs Swarm Together For SAR

sFly UAVs have been under development in the European Union for two years. The project was focused on the development of autonomous micro helicopters, visual 3D mapping and multi-robot control in difficult environments.

Check out this cool demo video that demonstrates the purpose of the sFly project, which is sponsored by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme.


(Search and Rescue of Victims in GPS-Denied Environments)

A swarm of micro flying robots is supporting a group of workers in a large scale environment for executing a search and rescue operation.

The workers are equipped with transmitter badges for their identification and localization.

The demo simulates a search and rescue operation in an outdoor GPS-denied disaster scenario. No laser, no GPS, and Vicon or other external cameras are used for navigation and mapping, but just onboard cameras and IMUs. All the processing runs onboard, on a Core2Duo processing unit. This video gives an overview of the existing modules being used for the final demonstration. The mission consists of first collecting images for creating a common global map of the working area with 3 helicopters, then engaging positions for an optimal surveillance coverage of the area, and finally detecting the transmitter positions.

The sFly micro air vehicle is fully autonomous, navigating using entirely onboard resources. Take a look at this brief test video.


(Search and Rescue of Victims in GPS-Denied Environments)

We use a key-frame based monocular SLAM as pose estimator to feed the MAV controller. Only one single camera and one IMU is used as sensors. All calculations are done on-board. To keep the calculation cost at constant complexity we delete old key-frames and features of the SLAM map. Thus we only keep record of the past few meters we flew. The first part of the video shows an indoor flight (about 50m). Note that the square flown is not entirely mapped. Merely one edge of the square is in the current map at any given time-step. That is, the MAV perceives each step as completely new terrain. This way the monocular SLAM may be seen as "degenerated" to visual odometry.

The second part demonstrates the same approach outdoors for a trajectory of about 25m.

This video is played 2x the normal speed.

Science fiction presaged the growing use of micro air vehicles; take a look at these sfnal 'devices' culled from the literature of the past eighty years:

...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner. There it studied its surroundings, transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones and saw with its minute vision tubes.
(More about Scarab flying insect robot from The Scarab by Raymond Z. Gallun [1936])

On the chest of drawers something was perched. Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her. She saw into two glassy mechanical lenses, something with a tubelike body, the size of a child's bat, shot upward and swept toward her.
(More about robot tracking devices from Vulcan's Hammer by Philp K. Dick [1960])

Gersen continued, "There is a stick-tight watching us, although I have not yet located it. Its microphone probably registers our conversation...
(See variations of stick-tights from The Star king by Jack Vance [1964])

The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread. Had there been an eye to observe them, it might not even have noted their minute, tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries for the night's flight...
(More about tracer-birds from Changeling by Roger Zelazny [1980])

Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct to the punters.
Blurbs shall stand for Bio-Logical-Ultra-Robotic-Broadcasting-System.
Only the company shall manufacture the blurbs. Other businesses or individuals may purchase blurbs from the Company, pre-loaded with messages and armed to the teeth, for the appropriate price.
(Read more about blurbflies from Nymphomation by Jeff Noon [2000])

From sFly; see more sFly videos. Via Physorg.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/24/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.' - Neal Stephenson, 2019

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...' - Anne McCaffrey, 1973.

Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.' - William Gibson, 2010.

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.