DARPA desires new concepts for autonomous drone swarms

The Protection Division’s analysis wing is critical about placing drones into motion, not simply one after the other however in coordinated swarms. The Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program is kicking off its second “sprint,” a interval of solicitation and speedy prototyping of techniques primarily based round a central theme. This spring dash is all about “autonomy.”

The thought is to gather a lot of concepts on how new expertise, be it sensors, software program, or higher propeller blades, can improve the flexibility of drones to coordinate and function as a collective.

Particularly, swarms of 50 might want to “isolate an city goal” inside half an hour or so by working along with one another and ground-based robotic. That at the very least is the “operational backdrop” that ought to information potential entrants of their resolution whether or not their tech is relevant.

So a swarm of drones that seed a discipline quicker than a tractor, whereas sensible for farmers, isn’t actually one thing the Pentagon is taken with right here. Alternatively, if you happen to can promote that concept as a swarm of drones dropping autonomous sensors on an city battlefield, they may take a shine to it.

However you would additionally merely exhibit how utilizing a compact ground-based lidar system might enhance swarm coordination at low price and with out utilizing seen gentle. Or possibly you’ve designed a midair charging system that lets a swarm perk up flagging models with out human intervention.

These are fairly good concepts, really — possibly I’ll run them by this system supervisor, Timothy Chung, when he’s on stage at our Robotics event in Berkeley this Could. Chung additionally oversees the Subterranean Challenge and many extra at DARPA . He appears like he’s having a great time within the video explaining the bottom guidelines of this new dash:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RfzvMnrDGM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=640&h=390]

You don’t have to really have 50 drones to participate — there are simulators and different methods of demonstrating worth. Extra info on this system and easy methods to submit your work for consideration can be found at the FBO page.