måndag 4 januari 2010

Flight of fancy

In its first 18 years, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s annual aerial-robotics competition posed four successive challenges, which robotics researchers had to meet using entirely autonomous aerial vehicles — no remote control allowed. The first challenge, which stood for three years, was to move a metal disc from one end of an arena to another. The fourth challenge was to travel three kilometers and find a way into a specific building: it stood for eight years. But this summer, for the first time in the competition’s history, a challenge fell in its first year, to a team of students representing MIT’s Robust Robotics Group.

The competition presented a scenario mimicking the aftermath of a nuclear meltdown. The aerial robot had to navigate its way through a window and into a maze simulating the hallways of an evacuated building, locate the control ro... [read the full article]

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