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AI-powered autonomous drone could bring new capabilities to agriculture – logistics, more – TechRepublic
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AI-powered autonomous drone could bring new capabilities to agriculture, logistics, more – TechRepublic

Scientists have created the first nano drone capable of flying itself without a human operator, breaking ground on new ways to miniaturize artificial intelligence (AI) and limit processing power.

Six researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Bologna figured out a way to maximize the drone’s bite-sized power and memory limitations using DroNet, “a lightweight residual convolutional neural network (CNN) architecture,” according to a paper they released earlier this month.

Antonio Loquercio, one of the lead scientists on the project, told The Register that the machine’s computation and navigation controls were created fully onboard the device.

“This means, nano-drones are completely autonomous. This is the first time such a small quadrotor can be controlled this way, without any need of external sensing and computing. The methodology remains however almost unchanged using steering angle and the collision probability prediction [in DroNet],” Loquercio said.

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