The establishment of professional drone racing bodies, like the Drone Racing League and IDRA, together with sponsored television coverage from channels like ESPN, has seen drone racing taking off in recent years. This, in turn, has led to people around the world creating their own tracks, and the development of smaller drone racing bodies, like the Indian Drone Racing League.
Drones, already technologically advanced, together with man’s desire to perfect drone racing, is leading to further advancements and the introduction of autonomy – autonomous drone racing. Join us as we analyze a recent study done on autonomous drone racing.
The autonomous future of drone racing
A recent study by scientists in Switzerland outlines tests that have taken place to test autonomous racing drones. The research evaluated how these high speed, agile flying machines are able to keep in flight and navigate around a track autonomously.
How does it work?
For this to even be imaginable at the current scale of racing drones, you need to figure out a way to fit all the components. The racing drones are all connected wirelessly to a CNN (convolutional neural network) along with a path-planning and control system. The use of all of these systems together allows the racing drones to learn from previous flights they’ve had, to improve their future flights.
The CNN takes in raw data from various cameras around the track to find the positions of the various drones around the track. From this, the system will then project the trajectory of the flight path, make adjustments and changes to its speed to allow the drone to stay on course.
When will you be racing against computers?
Don’t worry, these drones won’t be hitting the racing scene for a few more years. There are still many aspects that have to be finalized.
By no means are autonomous drone racing technologies ready for public release, as many of the supporting technologies are still brand new and are in the alpha stages of their life.
As drones begin to need less user input over time, they will soon become fully autonomous. Do you think this is a great path for drone racing to take? Share your thoughts in the comments below or head over to our social media accounts.