DARPA UAVs Would Be Fast, Light and Fly Themselves

Scorpion

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DARPA UAVs Would Be Fast, Light and Fly Themselves



Pentagon R&D arm, DARPA, plan to research fast, lightweight drones, similar to the ones that appear in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.(Photo: callofduty.com)​


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's advanced R&D arm wants to help drones fly the crowded skies—using a new class of algorithms.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced Dec. 23 that it is seeking an algorithm, or software "brain," aimed at high-speed aerial navigation in cluttered environments as part of its Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program.

"Birds and flying insects maneuver easily at high speeds near obstacles," DARPA's solicitation notes. "The FLA program asks the question 'How can autonomous flying robotic systems achieve similar high-speed performance?'"

DARPA envisions such a system performing reconnaissance in areas previously considered denied, such as a protected or structurally damaged building.

But such technology could have applications off the battlefield. The solicitation came a month after an FAA report leaked that detailed nearly 200 safety incidents involving commercial drones and commercial aircraft, and days ahead of the FAA's safety campaign for the holiday hot-seller.

DARPA's technology would take actually take the pilot out of the equation. Remote-controlled unmanned aerial systems for the most part rely on a skilled pilot, on-board sensors and reliable signals between the pilot man and platform. Alternatively, a drone could use pre-determined way-points, but that approach depends on GPS signals, which can fail indoors or be jammed.

Modeled after the capabilities of a bird, these drones in the final demonstration would have to fly for ten minutes, travel at 45 miles per hour, fly as far as a kilometer, use a 20-watt computer and use no communications after the initial "go" command.

The agency is offering $5.5 million in research funding. Phase 1, from mid 2015 to mid 2017, is focused on an an outdoor slalom course, the inside of a warehouse and indoor offices. Before wrapping up at the end of 2018, Phase 2 would tackle doors and windows, the bane of real birds everywhere.

Intercepts: DARPA UAVs Would Be Fast, Light and Fly Themselves
 
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I hope this doesn't lead to drones be floned over the United States. The idea of a drone being able to kill me at any time scares me immensely.
 
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I'm really wary that this step not only leads to more surveillance but also the arming of autonomous system with lethal weapons. At least the current drones still have a human operator behind them who makes the decision on whether to kill or not. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm uncomfortable with a life-or-death decision being determined by a computer algorithm!
 
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DARPA UAVs Would Be Fast, Light and Fly Themselves



Pentagon R&D arm, DARPA, plan to research fast, lightweight drones, similar to the ones that appear in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.(Photo: callofduty.com)​


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's advanced R&D arm wants to help drones fly the crowded skies—using a new class of algorithms.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced Dec. 23 that it is seeking an algorithm, or software "brain," aimed at high-speed aerial navigation in cluttered environments as part of its Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program.

"Birds and flying insects maneuver easily at high speeds near obstacles," DARPA's solicitation notes. "The FLA program asks the question 'How can autonomous flying robotic systems achieve similar high-speed performance?'"

DARPA envisions such a system performing reconnaissance in areas previously considered denied, such as a protected or structurally damaged building.

But such technology could have applications off the battlefield. The solicitation came a month after an FAA report leaked that detailed nearly 200 safety incidents involving commercial drones and commercial aircraft, and days ahead of the FAA's safety campaign for the holiday hot-seller.

DARPA's technology would take actually take the pilot out of the equation. Remote-controlled unmanned aerial systems for the most part rely on a skilled pilot, on-board sensors and reliable signals between the pilot man and platform. Alternatively, a drone could use pre-determined way-points, but that approach depends on GPS signals, which can fail indoors or be jammed.

Modeled after the capabilities of a bird, these drones in the final demonstration would have to fly for ten minutes, travel at 45 miles per hour, fly as far as a kilometer, use a 20-watt computer and use no communications after the initial "go" command.

The agency is offering $5.5 million in research funding. Phase 1, from mid 2015 to mid 2017, is focused on an an outdoor slalom course, the inside of a warehouse and indoor offices. Before wrapping up at the end of 2018, Phase 2 would tackle doors and windows, the bane of real birds everywhere.

Intercepts: DARPA UAVs Would Be Fast, Light and Fly Themselves
There is a problem on Mother Earth! We've became too laxed and comfortable with the notion that it's more fulfilling to have less human interaction and more artificial intelligence. That's a sure way to doom our own intelligence and peace. Yes, there is a positive aspect to flying drones in warfare but in my opinion, through the hands of human interaction. I'm sure there must be at least one person who understands this at DARPA.
 
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I'm really wary that this step not only leads to more surveillance but also the arming of autonomous system with lethal weapons. At least the current drones still have a human operator behind them who makes the decision on whether to kill or not. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm uncomfortable with a life-or-death decision being determined by a computer algorithm!
I agree globulon, I'm uncomfortable with an artificial intelligence making " life changing decisions" also. There's no way that this can be a good thing. I have a feeling that a many of people will suffer from unmanned drones. The fact that they're offering so much money for research into this idea is amazing to say the least.
 
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How soon before private individuals start making these sorts of things ? Are they also working on anti-drone devices ?

A terrorist group could ship a container full of them to USA and release havoc.
 

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