Engineers Building Intelligent Drones That Learn as They Fly

Rhykker

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Engineers Building Intelligent Drones That Learn as They Fly


Engineers at the University of Sheffield in England are developing autonomous, flying robots that can co-operate.


Using a quadcopter as a base - a small helicopter with four rotors - the British research team has developed a robot that uses a mounted camera to "learn" about its surroundings, starting with no information about its environment or the objects within it. Then, using reference points and different angles, it builds a 3D map of its surroundings, with additional sensors picking up barometric and ultrasonic data. Autopilot software then uses all this data to navigate safely and even seek out specific objects.

"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognise objects and individuals and make decisions," said Professor Sandor Veres, who is leading the research. "In the real world, however, although robots can be extremely intelligent individually, their ability to co-operate and interact with each other and with humans is still very limited.

"As we develop robots for use in space or to send into nuclear environments - places where humans cannot easily go - the goal will be for them to understand their surroundings and make decisions based on that understanding."

These robots will eventually be able to interact and co-operate with each, with the end-goal being "fleets of machines" that can work on complex tasks. Currently, the robots can recognize either other in flight and navigate around each other without collisions.


Source: Press release

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Parasondox

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"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognising objects and individuals and make decisions"

Do you know what those robots do 9 out of 10 times in those movies? They end up turning on us and in comes Skynet.

Honestly, I do love and look forward to seeing how far technology and science can go but there is always a scary side.
 

Rhykker

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Paradox SuXcess said:
"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognising objects and individuals and make decisions"

Do you know what those robots do 9 out of 10 times in those movies? They end up turning on us and in comes Skynet.

Honestly, I do love and look forward to seeing how far technology and science can go but there is always a scary side.
LOL

My immediate thought was the military application. Slap a gun on that thing, and... yikes.
 

Parasondox

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Rhykker said:
Paradox SuXcess said:
"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognising objects and individuals and make decisions"

Do you know what those robots do 9 out of 10 times in those movies? They end up turning on us and in comes Skynet.

Honestly, I do love and look forward to seeing how far technology and science can go but there is always a scary side.
LOL

My immediate thought was the military application. Slap a gun on that thing, and... yikes.
It'll be us against the machines. We have a chance... unless they are the Sentinels from Days of Future Past, which also means we're all screwed. WE'RE ALL SCREWED!!!

CAPTCHA: Total Shamble - Well that's a light way of putting it.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Paradox SuXcess said:
"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognising objects and individuals and make decisions"

Do you know what those robots do 9 out of 10 times in those movies? They end up turning on us and in comes Skynet.
Yeah, the problem is when they understand their surroundings to be "filled with inefficient, ugly meatbags" and decide that getting rid of them could only improve things.

Somebody figure out how to code Asmiov's Three Laws of Robotics in C++, quick!
 

Nowhere Man

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Rhykker said:
These robots will eventually be able to interact and co-operate with each, with the end-goal being "fleets of machines" that can work on complex tasks.
Like enslaving the human race.
 

Asclepion

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Paradox SuXcess said:
"We are used to the robots of science fiction films being able to act independently, recognising objects and individuals and make decisions"

Do you know what those robots do 9 out of 10 times in those movies? They end up turning on us and in comes Skynet.

Honestly, I do love and look forward to seeing how far technology and science can go but there is always a scary side.
But in 1 out of 10 times, we have a Utopia where machines with massively superhuman intelligence can see elegant solutions to problems and are more rational and loving than their creators.

Really, we're as likely to make WALL-E and Culture Minds as anything.
 

Caffiene

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I dont understand how this is different from the other projects doing the same thing over the past 10 years or so.

Swarm intelligence isnt really anything new. Is there something new being added by this particular project that Im missing?
 

stringtheory

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Caffiene said:
I don't understand how this is different from the other projects doing the same thing over the past 10 years or so.

Swarm intelligence isnt really anything new. Is there something new being added by this particular project that I'm missing?
Yes, this time the robots can FLY! Something that has apparently never been done with swarm intelligence.
 

Nurb

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It's good to have a list of people to blame who are obviously working on something that will be snapped up and misused by governments around the world.

Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
 

Caffiene

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stringtheory said:
Yes, this time the robots can FLY! Something that has apparently never been done with swarm intelligence.
I could have sworn Ive read about flying ones just like this.
Ive definitely seen swarm intelligence flying drones that could fly in coordination and formations. Maybe Im getting that mixed together with the ground-based search and rescue ones that can map out areas.
 

Strazdas

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Nurb said:
Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
Computers and internet were created as purely military application without any vision of it being used by civilians. how did that end up?
 

Ragnar47183

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Strazdas said:
Nurb said:
Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
Computers and internet were created as purely military application without any vision of it being used by civilians. how did that end up?
Dang! You beat me to it! Lol.
 

Nurb

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Strazdas said:
Nurb said:
Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
Computers and internet were created as purely military application without any vision of it being used by civilians. how did that end up?
Judging by the NSA, not very well!

You're also using two broad subjects compared to a very spesific thing. What civilian applications with drones would equal the uses of computers and the internet?
 

Strazdas

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Nurb said:
Strazdas said:
Nurb said:
Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
Computers and internet were created as purely military application without any vision of it being used by civilians. how did that end up?
Judging by the NSA, not very well!

You're also using two broad subjects compared to a very spesific thing. What civilian applications with drones would equal the uses of computers and the internet?
cheap, easy and fast delivery revolutionizing long distance sales?
Security and crop care automated for farmers? early fire detection which means next time we wont burn half the state down before we put it out? there are millions of great civilian uses for drones. Its like having fast moving maneurable eyes without actually needing to hire people and buy them helicopters.
 

Nurb

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Strazdas said:
Nurb said:
Strazdas said:
Nurb said:
Seriously, do these engineers even consider what they're doing has more evil applications than good?
Computers and internet were created as purely military application without any vision of it being used by civilians. how did that end up?
Judging by the NSA, not very well!

You're also using two broad subjects compared to a very spesific thing. What civilian applications with drones would equal the uses of computers and the internet?
cheap, easy and fast delivery revolutionizing long distance sales?
Security and crop care automated for farmers? early fire detection which means next time we wont burn half the state down before we put it out? there are millions of great civilian uses for drones. Its like having fast moving maneurable eyes without actually needing to hire people and buy them helicopters.
drone delivery is unreleable, and farm use isn't really "as widely used as the internet and computers"
 

Strazdas

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Nurb said:
Strazdas said:
drone delivery is unreleable, and farm use isn't really "as widely used as the internet and computers"
We dont know how reliable it is, we havent tried it. also remmeber that computers took many decades to perfect to the point where a home user could just go to a shop and buy one. computers are almost 100 years old and we still improve on them.

Farms are widely used. where do you think you get food from?