Tuesday, October 05, 2010

#ALGORITHMS "Swarm Intelligence Controls Robotic Planes"

Unmanned areal vehicles (UAVs) communicate with each other and the ground to fly in coordinated swarms for search and rescue operations.
Search and rescue could become easier with swarms of unmanned areal vehicles (UAVs) all under the control of a single operator. Today many drones can perform some mission objectives on their own, but not coordinated formation flying, which is necessary for search and rescue as opposed to surveillance or military applications. By encoding swarm intelligence for the UAVs into a ground-based computer, it may be possible to combine autonomy and control for grid-like search operations. Look for swarms of search and rescue UAVs at natural disaster sites within three years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

UAVS run Linux on a lithium-polymer battery powered single-board computer with an off-the-shelf WiFi receiver, a GPS module and a ZigBee transmitter.

Here is what EETimes says about swarm intelligence: A new strategy for coordinated flight of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) devised by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology uses coordinated communications to allow a single operator to control an entire swarm of ultra-cheap robotic planes, rather than depending on expensive radar or lasers to locate and coordinate the flight of swarms or UAVs. Created in the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network (SmavNet) project uses small (32-inch wingspan), lightweight (under 1 pound) UAVs with an electric motor and two control surfaces (ailerons and elevators) running on a single lithium-polymer battery with a flight-time of 30 minutes. The UAVs use GPS for location and WiFi for communications plus only three inexpensive sensors—a single MEMS gyroscope and two pressure sensors.
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