Skydio Drone Promises Real Obstacle Avoidance
” Every time we post about autonomous delivery drones, we have to point out that despite the promises implied by overproduced and optimistic videos, the drones are simply not capable of autonomous navigation in complex environments. Same goes for those camera drones that promise to follow you: the videos inevitably show them following skiers on wide open slopes, surfers on the wide open sea, or other people doing things very far away from inconvenient obstacles like trees.
So far, we’ve only seen a tiny handful of drones capable of dynamically detecting and avoiding obstacles at a useful speed. Qualcomm and UPenn have been working on some, and MIT has that speedy tree-avoiding fixed-wing drone.”
” A Silicon Valley company called Skydio , founded by a team of researchers from MIT and Google X’s Project Wing, have posted a video that shows a drone following people jogging and biking while autonomously avoiding tree trunks and branches. In other words, it’s what other drone companies have been promising to be able to do for years, except Skydio actually delivers—or at least it shows real progress (and footage) toward that goal.
This drone, with some kind of crazy camera hardware on it, is following that dude on the bike while dynamically avoiding obstacles that show up in front of it basically out of nowhere. It has very little time to react, and it also has to avoid stuff in such a way that it can keep going in the direction that it needs to go.”