Friday, June 9, 2017

This Drone Goes Where No GPS Can

Most drones would be lost without GPS. Not this one. A drone developed by NVIDIA researchers navigates even the most far-flung, unmapped places using only deep learning and computer vision powered by NVIDIA Jetson TX1 embedded AI supercomputers. Although initially designed to follow forest trails to rescue lost hikers or spot fallen trees, the low-flying autonomous drone could work far beyond the forest — in canyons between skyscrapers or inside buildings, for example — where GPS is inaccurate or unavailable. “This works when GPS doesn’t,” said Nikolai Smolyanskiy, the NVIDIA team’s technical lead. “All you need is a path the drone can recognize visually.”