03 September 2010

MAVs navigating without GPS

Engineers at MIT has built a MAV that is able to navigate inside a complicated environment, where GPS navigation is denied. The vehicle is perhaps mainly interesting for its navigations skills rather than it's flight performance. The MAV has a laser scanning the environment to build up an image about the surrounding topology. At the recent International Bat Research Conference in Prague, there were talks about using sonar systems similar to those of bats to navigate the environment. The real challenge will be to combine any of these navigation based systems with a MAV that uses flapping flight, and flies like a bat or an insect. A film showing the MAV flying indoors can be seen by clicking here. The accompanying paper is not very new, published in Science in late 2009.

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