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Getting Small UAVs To Imitate Human Pilots Flying Through Dense Forests

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the on-earth-as-it-is-on-endor dept.

AI 56

New submitter diabolicalrobot writes "The Robotics Institute at CMU has been developing systems to learn from humans. Using a Machine Learning class of techniques called Imitation Learning our group has developed AI software for a small commercially available off-the-shelf ARdrone to autonomously fly through the dense trees for over 3.4 km in experimental runs. We are also developing methods to do longer range planning with such purely vision-guided UAVs. Such technology has a lot of potential impact for surveillance, search and rescue and allowing UAVs to safely share airspace with manned airspace."

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Cropdusters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41994421)

This could save lives!

Re:Cropdusters? (2)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#41994649)

It could, however I don't see what part of screaming your final prayers is so hard to teach to a UAV?

Re:Cropdusters? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41995057)

Well, before the UAV can pray, they have to give it a soul. I hear that's pretty difficult.

Re:Cropdusters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995179)

Not at all. We have a turn-key solution for Autonomous Control Systems, with our newly released Soul Module.

It is written in an obsolete language, and has a partially documented (and occasionally conflicting) API. Available on a yearly subscription.

Re:Cropdusters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995209)

Just give it shoes!

... Puns are not has fun in text.

Re:Cropdusters? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995455)

Oblig
http://xkcd.com/413/

Re:Cropdusters? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41998385)

It should be easy to give it a soul- if humans have souls, many animals are likely to have souls too. The difficult bits are ethical and cost.

Coming Soon... (4, Funny)

JonahsDad (1332091) | about 2 years ago | (#41994547)

To the second moon of Endor.

Re:Coming Soon... (1)

diabolicalrobot (1821676) | about 2 years ago | (#41995511)

Re:Coming Soon... (1)

JonahsDad (1332091) | about 2 years ago | (#41995649)

Nice to know you guys have a proper sense of humor. Of course, given that your video predates my comment by a couple of months, I should probably have been modded redundant. I'll give myself a break since the link wasn't directly accessible from any of the links in TFS.

Re:Coming Soon... (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#41996821)

Sadly the chase scene was exactly what popped to mind when I read the title as well.

Thought (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41994565)

Perhaps I should port the source code into Battlefield 3 so I don't crash the helicopter all the time.

Don't kid yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41994595)

> Such technology has a lot of potential impact for surveillance, search and rescue...

and killing people.

I never went into robotic vision because nearly all of the immediate applications are military.

Re:Don't kid yourself (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41995063)

Violence is just the low hanging fruit of applying robotic vision, well low hanging fruit that pays very well.

There are many applications for this, whether it helps a computer to guide a blind person though a crowded lobby, allowing a driverless car to be safer and more efficient, or even warning you that your car is about to be hit by another car.

Re:Don't kid yourself (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41995169)

I never went into robotic vision because nearly all of the immediate applications are military.

Just like radar, and jet engines and rockets and spaceflight and GPS and encryption and antibiotics, yet all those things turned out to be slightly beneficial (or more than slightly, in the case of... all of them) to humanity as a whole.

Re:Don't kid yourself (1)

stewart4t2 (1443697) | about 2 years ago | (#41997383)

*tinfoil*

Robotic vision is one of that last main things that is keeping us from real, functioning, war fighting robots. Do we want the military to have this first?

Obviously, true intelligence will be the final step in our Terminator style demise.

*/tinfoil*

Re:Don't kid yourself (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41995249)

> Such technology has a lot of potential impact for surveillance, search and rescue...

and killing people.

I never went into robotic vision because nearly all of the immediate applications are military.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPJMk2fgJU [youtube.com]

Re:Don't kid yourself (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41995293)

all of the immediate applications are military.

That is only true because that is where most of the funding it probably coming from. Computer vision has huge potential outside the military. Computer vision is not the first massively useful technology that came out efficiently killing people and it will not be the last. Hell, most of the first seeds of the computer, electronics, and internet industries were planted because of the military.

1984 is old hat... (0)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 2 years ago | (#41994605)

Armed with a small LED or lasers to paint targets for small missiles, it could allow principals, police and govt agency personnel to eliminate offenders in whatever act.

Re:1984 is old hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995051)

Armed with a small LED or lasers to paint targets for small missiles, it could allow principals, police and govt agency personnel to eliminate offenders in whatever act.

Humans will always be one step ahead of such tech, because humans can
adapt more rapidly than the tech.

If you don't believe this ask any prison guard. In prison, the guards have eight hours
to make sure the prisoners behave, whereas the prisoners have 24 hours in which to
find ways to circumvent the methods used by the guards.

A determined human will always prevail, no matter what you geeks imagine.

Re:1984 is old hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995213)

On the other hand, most prisoners do not escape...

Re:1984 is old hat... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41996547)

Yes, because once they escape they then have to evade arrest for the rest of their lives. Not an easy task.

Re:1984 is old hat... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41995323)

They're still working on the "guard in the tower with the scoped .30-06" problem.

Re:1984 is old hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995205)

I would probably be more worried about the police having access to heavy weapons like missiles than I would be about the drone targeting those weapons.

Re:1984 is old hat... (2)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41995693)

Armed with a small LED or lasers to paint targets for small missiles, it could allow principals, police and govt agency personnel to eliminate offenders in whatever act.

Or they could just make cats very happy before they die in a fiery explosion.

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41994615)

From the summary 'Such technology has a lot of potential impact "

-- MyLongNickName (Slashdot again won't let me stay logged in)

(Slashdot again won't let me stay logged in) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41994855)

It's called a cookie. TAKE THE COOKIE!

Re:(Slashdot again won't let me stay logged in) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995005)

Cookies are enabled. I've had miscellaneous periods where any time I switch subdomains on slashdot, Slashdot decides I've logged out.

Re:(Slashdot again won't let me stay logged in) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42016021)

and the comments slider is buggy as shit as well.

That's easy (-1)

TheUglyAmerican (767829) | about 2 years ago | (#41994625)

Duhhh, human pilot don't fly through dense forests so all the UAV needs to do is nothing.

They don't need to imitate humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41994681)

They need to imitate birds. Duh.

Re:They don't need to imitate humans (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 years ago | (#41994949)

I've seen the onboard videos of goshawks flying through the woods. If humans could do that they'd have to take an industrial strength anti-emetic beforehand.

Re:They don't need to imitate humans (3, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41995343)

Link [youtube.com] , or Star Wars Version [youtube.com] .

Re:They don't need to imitate humans (1)

icoderaven (2774747) | about 2 years ago | (#41995421)

There's yet another Star Wars version [youtube.com]

Re:They don't need to imitate humans (1)

icoderaven (2774747) | about 2 years ago | (#41995365)

They need to imitate birds. Duh.

Probably why the project is called BIRD.

Re:They don't need to imitate humans (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | about 2 years ago | (#41996193)

Birds probably really really suck at piloting drones.

Gives a whole new meaning... (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41994699)

to the most common aviation accident:
CFIT (human) = Controlled Flight Into Terrain
CFIT (Machine) = Controlled Flight Into Tree

BOOM! (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | about 2 years ago | (#41994875)

a lot of potential impact for surveillance

Nothing that a shotgun can't fix. Yet.

Re:BOOM! (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41995279)

a lot of potential impact for surveillance

Nothing that a shotgun can't fix. Yet.

Yeah, but going to jail because you shot down a government owned drone probably isn't going to be worth it. It's not like they won't be able to see who shot it down, and exactly where/when. Heck, it might even shoot back! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPJMk2fgJU [youtube.com]

I want one for home use (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41995145)

I want a drone that flies around my houses and fixes all the dren that I don't want to fix.

You know, broken light bulbs, empties the gutters, etc.

Re:I want one for home use (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41995301)

I want a drone that flies around my houses and fixes all the dren that I don't want to fix.

You know, broken light bulbs, empties the gutters, etc.

You can already program the ar.drone to fly a preset flight path... just attach a little shovel and have it fly around scooping the gutter daily, all you'd need to work out is how to properly apply the duct tape, and setup some type of charging station it could land on by its-self.

Re:I want one for home use (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41995857)

The point is something that is generally capable of whatever task.

Autonomous gutter clutter gutter? (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | about 2 years ago | (#41995501)

Why can't we all just get a Looj? [irobot.com]

Re:I want one for home use (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995915)

Except since it learns by imitation it would probably just sit in front of your PC all day.

Re:I want one for home use (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41996693)

Damn things won't come with batteries though.

Re:I want one for home use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42000011)

DRD's dont fly ;)

Bit34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995355)

server Crashes at death's door you to join the so on, FreeBSD went

because humans are so good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41995599)

...at flying through dense forests?

Why not have it imitate birds?

Re:because humans are so good... (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41995789)

Because birds are not big enough to not carry explosive payloads or turrents.

oblig. (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41996503)

I for one welcome our multi-rotored overlords.

How it does with horizontal features? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | about 2 years ago | (#41998393)

In the real world a UAV will need to deal with horizontal features like power lines, fences and fence rails - all things that trip up human aviators far too often. The first video in TFA showed it using the increasing horizontal (left-right) velocity of picture elements to correlate with something vertical like a tree approaching the monocular camera, but ended abruptly as the AR.Drone was approaching a wooden fence. I would have really liked to have seen it deal with that fence as well, say by momentarily increasing its altitude to clear it.

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Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42000291)

Hey buddy: you have the wrong crowd. Most slashdotters have never touched a shovel before. They like to keep their hands clean. Try putting that in a forum for people who actually use more than their keyboards for a living.

Human pilots do what? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41999475)

Who flies through dense forests? If you want to imitate a typical human pilot caught in a forest, make the drone say:

"Aaaah, we're gonna diieee!"

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