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Drones May Soon Include Electronic ‘Brain’

Drone tech is getting increasingly more complicated and more accessible to users looking to get their hands on their own flying camera. Recent reports suggest that newer models are set to include their own thinking methods and automated flight using neural networks.

This means in layman’s terms that the previously remote control devices could evolve some of their own self driving features. Advances in the field are to allow the drone to ‘think’ for itself, just like an electronic brain. This can be done bu allowing the drone to process input from multiple sensors and act accordingly, as if it were alive.

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The tech is a response to the frustrating problem with drones – they just aren’t very smart, no more so that your average radio controlled car in most cases. US company Bio Inspired Technologies is aiming to fix that problem with their drone ‘brain’.

It really is quite like something you’d find in a living creature – using ‘memristors’, resistors that have a short memory to retain information, Bio Inspired have laid out their drone ‘brain chip’ using patterns found in brains. Each memristor is linked up and designed to mimic neurons fond in brains.

One of Amazon’s prototype delivery drones.


This basically means that a drone with the special brain chip will be able to process things and remember where it’s been and what it’s seen, creating a temporary awareness fo its surroundings and objects it comes across. Terry Gafron, CEO of Bio inspired spoke recently to New Scientist about the exciting technology.

“Objects like other aircraft can be cataloged in a vague sense, meaning ‘I see an aircraft’, or in an exact sense: ‘I see another drone’,” he said

“Not only could the system fly autonomously, but it could conceivably tell the difference between a deer and a wolf from the air.”

“That information can then be used by the drone to plot a new flight path.”

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Bio Inspired’s chip could herald a new era of drones, and might make its way onto the devices as a sort of standard bit of kit. It’s a great idea by the company that one day multiple manufacturers could have the opportunity to use the device instead of just building their own line of smart drones.

The future looks bright for these little thinking flying machines. Amazon’s drone delivery service is moving along nicely, and once the pioneering effort achieves mainstream success we could see all sorts of drones taking to the skies.

Via: New Scientist

Via: Techradar