Latest in Agile

Image credit:

DARPA taking inspiration from birds of prey to create agile UAVs

45 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

The US military would like to use small drones a lot more, especially to gather intelligence inside buildings and other structures. The problem? Most drones aren't fast or maneuverable in tight places, to the point that even a kangaroo can take one out. Enter DARPA: the gadget arm of the military has just created the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program to build fully autonomous UAVs that can get through "a labyrinth of rooms, stairs and... other obstacle filled environments." The drones would also have to move at 45 miles per hour in complex spaces without relying on GPS waypoints -- which is where the birds of prey come in.

DARPA figures that since raptors like the Goshawk can dart through dense forests effortlessly, why not study them for drone design ideas? That could lead to algorithms that would let UAVs "easily navigate tight spaces at high speed and quickly recognize if it had already been in a room." It also wants the UAVs to be able to do all that with a minimum of calculation, communication and human action required. And though the program is strictly aimed at drones for now, DARPA thinks it could also be used in ground- and marine-based remote systems, especially when there's little-to-no GPS availability. That way, if a drone can't help in a tense situation, the military could always send in the Big Dogs.

Source: DARPA
In this article: agile, DARPA, Drone, goshawks, hawks, UAV, video
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
45 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

View
Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

View
US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

View
Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

View
Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr