FireSwarm is a project using groups of UAVs and will be presented during the UAS Event, 11 April 2013. The research institute Almende, its robotic spin-off Distributed Organisms, Delft University of Technology, DevLab consortium (KITT Engineering, Salland Electronics, van Mierlo, Vitelec), EagleVision, Groningen University, the Bergen fire department, and North Holland security region, worked together to bring about a solution for finding fire as quick as possible in the dunes around Bergen. A dozen fixed-wing GateWing X100 planes are equipped with custom-made hardware to process data from an infrared array, CO sensor, and normal image sensors and relay this information via several methods to an operator console on the ground. Image recognition and software for flying in patterns all run on-board and allow the UAVs to operate together to find the fire as efficiently as possible.
FireSwarm is a nice example on a possible use of UAVs, however it is not yet commercially viable. There are several lessons that can be learned. Firstly, do not build flying machines, build flying market stores! Do not create your own payload, but leverage key technology by using smartphones and collaborating with smartphone manufacturers. Secondly, from an exploratory point of view, it is better to have a robot that fails than a robot that is unable to learn. A real-world application of UAVs requires autonomous landing, launching, and recharging, often left to humans now. Thirdly, do not think too traditionally about robots in coming up with applications. Think of flying garbage cans, flying window cleaners, flying suitcases. We are building the internet of flying things together and we’ve only just begun.
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- Pieken in de Delta
- UAS Denmark
- UAS Norway