Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















ROBO SPACE
Virtual top hats allow swarming robots to fly in tight formation
by Staff Writers
Atlanta GA (SPX) May 18, 2017


The quadcopters wear virtual 'top hats,' to avoid flying underneath each other. Image courtesy Georgia Tech.

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a team of free-flying robots that obeys the two rules of the air: don't collide or undercut each other. They've also built autonomous blimps that recognize hand gestures and detect faces. Both projects will be presented at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) May 29 - June 3 in Singapore.

In the first, five swarm quadcopters zip back and forth in formation, then change their behaviors based on user commands. The trick is to maneuver without smacking into each other or flying underneath another machine. If a robot cuts into the airstream of a higher flying quadcopter, the lower machine must quickly recover from the turbulent air or risk falling out of the sky.

"Ground robots have had built-in safety 'bubbles' around them for a long time to avoid crashing," said Magnus Egerstedt, the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor who oversees the project. "Our quadcopters must also include a cylindrical 'do not touch' area to avoid messing up the airflow for each other. They're basically wearing virtual top hats."

As long as the Georgia Tech machines avoid flying in the two-foot space below their neighbor, they can swarm freely without a problem. That typically means they dart around each other rather than going low.

Ph.D. student Li Wang figured out the size of the "top hat" one afternoon by hovering one copter in the air and sending others back and forth underneath it. Any closer than 0.6 of a meter (or five times the diameter from one rotor to another) and the machines were blasted to the ground. Then he created algorithms to allow them to change formation midflight.

"We figured out the smallest amount of modifications a quadcopter must make to its planned path to achieve the new formation," said Wang. "Mathematically, that's what a programmer wants - the smallest deviations from an original flight plan."

The project is part of Egerstedt and Wang's overall research, which focuses on easily controlling and interacting with large teams of robots.

"Our skies will become more congested with autonomous machines, whether they're used for deliveries, agriculture or search and rescue," said Egerstedt, who directs Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. "It's not possible for one person to control dozens or hundreds of robots at a time. That's why we need machines to figure it out themselves."

The researchers overseeing the second project, the blimps, 3D-printed a gondola frame that carries sensors and a mini camera. It attaches to either an 18- or 36-inch diameter balloon. The smaller blimp can carry a five-gram payload; the larger one supports 20 grams.

The autonomous blimps detect faces and hands, allowing people to direct the flyers with movements. All the while, the machine gathers information about its human operator, identifying everything from hesitant glares to eager smiles. The goal is to better understand how people interact with flying robots.

"Roboticists and psychologists have learned many things about how humans relate to robots on the ground, but we haven't created techniques to study how we react to flying machines," said Fumin Zhang, the Georgia Tech associate professor leading the blimp project. "Flying a regular drone close to people presents a host of issues. But people are much more likely to approach and interact with a slow-moving blimp that looks like a toy."

The blimps' circular shape makes them harder to steer with manual controllers, but allows them to turn and quickly change direction. This is unlike the more popular zeppelin-shaped blimps commonly used by other researchers.

Zhang has filed a request with Guinness World Records for the smallest autonomous blimp. He sees a future where blimps can play a role in people's lives, but only if roboticists can determine what people want and how they'll react to a flying companion.

"Imagine a blimp greeting you at the front of the hardware store, ready to offer assistance," Zhang said. "People are good at reading people's faces and sensing if they need help or not. Robots could do the same. And if you needed help, the blimp could ask, then lead you to the correct aisle, flying above the crowds and out of the way."

ROBO SPACE
GE Appliances to get Google voice control option
Washington (AFP) May 17, 2017
GE Appliances announced a deal with Google Wednesday enabling the US tech giant's voice control home hub to be used for cooking, cleaning and other functions. The deal enables GE's "Geneva" to communicate with the Google Assistant, so users can say: "Ok Google, ask Geneva Home to set the oven timer for 10 minutes." The announcement comes nearly a year after GE Appliances unveiled a simil ... read more

Related Links
Georgia Institute of Technology
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ROBO SPACE
Saving time in space

SpaceX Dragon to deliver research payloads to Space Station

Joint Statement: The Fourth Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space

'Stone Age' Trump going back to horse and cart says Schwarzenegger

ROBO SPACE
Arianespace launches SES-15 using Soyuz rocket

ULS wins $208Mln for rocket vehicle production services

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

ISRO to Launch GSLV Mark III, Its Heaviest Rocket Soon

ROBO SPACE
HI-SEAS Mission V Mars simulation marks midway point

Deciphering the fluid floorplan of a planet

How hard did it rain on Mars

Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Valley's Origin

ROBO SPACE
A cabin on the moon? China hones the lunar lifestyle

China tests 'Lunar Palace' as it eyes moon mission

China to conduct several manned space flights around 2020

Reach for the Stars: China Plans to Ramp Up Space Flight Activity

ROBO SPACE
AsiaSat 9 ready for shipment

SES Networks offers new hybrid resiliency service

Allied Minds' portfolio company BridgeSat raises $6 million in Series A financing

AIA report outlines policies needed to boost the US Space Industry competitiveness

ROBO SPACE
Entropy landscape sheds light on quantum mystery

3D-printed maritime propeller on way

HPC4MfG paper manufacturing project yields first results

Adhesive behavior of self-constructive materials measured for first time

ROBO SPACE
Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

Kepler Telescope Spies Details of Trappist-1's Outermost Planet

Astronomers Confirm Orbital Details of TRAPPIST-1h

Study shows how radioactive decay could support extraterrestrial life

ROBO SPACE
Hubble spots moon around third largest dwarf planet

NASA asks science community for Europa Lander Instruments ideas

Waves of lava seen in Io's largest volcanic crater

Not So Great Anymore: Jupiter's Red Spot Shrinks to Smallest Size Ever




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement