Saturday, March 30, 2013

Better Eyes for Flying Robots - A Runaway Hit

New systems could improve the vision of micro aerial vehicles.

Aerial robotics research has brought us flapping hummingbirds, seagulls, bumblebees, and dragonflies. But if these robots are to do anything more than bear a passing resemblance to their animal models, there is one thing they’ll definitely need: better vision.

In February, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, two teams presented new work (PDF) aimed at building better-performing and lower-power vision systems that would help aerial robots navigate and aid them in identifying objects.

Dongsuk Jeon, a graduate student working with Zhengya Zhang and IEEE Fellows David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, outlined an approach to drastically lower the power of the very first stage of any vision system—the feature extractor.  (more) (A "Runaway" hit from 1984.) 

FutureWatch: Mosquito-bots custom programmed to deliver injections (stun / drug / poison / etc.) based on recognition algorithms?