Chinese scientists have developed miniature intelligent aerial robots that can think independently

In a bamboo forest in Anji, Huzhou, a group of miniature intelligent aerial robots developed by the team of the School of Control Science and Engineering of Zhejiang University and the Huzhou Research Institute are moving freely through it — sometimes they skim dexterously through the low bushes, sometimes cross-fly and change formations, like birds in the forest dancing and chasing each other.

Flying in droves in unknown and complex environments has always been seen as a major technical bottleneck in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. In more than two years of research, the scientific research team has solved a series of core technologies such as intelligent navigation and rapid obstacle avoidance methods of robots in unknown and complex environments, bringing scenes that can only be seen in movies to the real world.

This achievement was published in the authoritative journal in the field of robotics on May 5, Beijing time.Science robotics(Science Robotics) and was selected as the journal’s May cover paper.

Sparrows are small.”

But can think for themselves

Large-scale robotic aerial formation performances have long been common, and through the early satellite positioning and trajectory coding, they can achieve ever-changing shapes. However, once they lose control of the ground computer, these robot groups will be leaderless or even crash into obstacles and fall down.

“The herringbone geese, the orderly flocks of pigeons, when we look up at the sky, the flocks of birds in nature always make us think about how they stay in formation.” Xu Chao said that allowing robots to fly freely in flocks like birds and the Tao Fa is the highest realm that we and our international counterparts are struggling to pursue.

Through collective and concerted efforts, the Zhejiang University team developed a small, lightweight, autonomous and controllable flight system that can be used in groups. A single aerial robot is only the size of a palm and weighs less than a cola.

The new robot developed by Zhejiang University has achieved a number of key technological breakthroughs such as perceiving surrounding obstacles, locating its own position and generating flight paths, and multi-agent communication in the complex environment of wild woods using only on-board vision and on-board computing resources. “We make the robot understand the world, actively avoid obstacles, and achieve group flight.” Goofy said.

“We’ve also built an intelligent brain for aerial robots.” Xu Chao said that although the processor is only the size of a thumb, it can independently calculate and process the huge amount of information encountered during flight. “The key to characterizing the motion information of the physical world into a series of mathematical problems is to identify the hidden special mathematical structure behind the complex problems, simplify the complex, and use the overstretched on-board computing resources to perfectly solve the problem.”

Climb high and run away

Can reach no man’s land

Xu Chao introduced that from drawing design to hardware debugging, from algorithm research and development to code writing, from experimental testing to system optimization, it is completely completely completed by the teachers and students of the Zhejiang University team, “In the world, there are only a few teams that can independently complete the whole process of work.” ”

In the process of research and development, the team has made breakthroughs in the development of intelligent, networked, autonomous and other aspects of technology, and this achievement will also have a positive effect on the machine substitution and industrial upgrading of the industrial world.

When it comes to future applications, Gao Fei believes that in search and rescue scenarios such as fires, small cluster robots can better achieve search and rescue goals and reduce the risk of search and rescue personnel; in terrain exploration, they can also quickly model areas that cannot be reached by personnel. “There are many scenarios in life where we can use this technology, such as sweeping floors or service robots, and if we install the ‘smart brain’ we developed, it will be smarter.” Get more cutting-edge research progress visit:

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