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Scientists and roboticists have long looked to nature for inspiration to develop new capabilities for machines. In this case, researchers at the University of Toronto designed a way to give small robots the ability to navigate themselves, inspired by bats and other animals that rely on echolocation. No need for expensive hardware or components that are too big or too big. Heavy for a small machine. In fact, according to pop sciencethe team used only integrated audio hardware interactive pack robot Built an audio expansion deck using cheap mics and speakers small flying drone It is a size that fits in the palm of your hand.
This system works similarly to bat echolocation. It’s designed to emit sounds of different frequencies, and the sound bounces off the walls and is picked up by the robot’s microphone. An algorithm created by the team analyzes the sound waves and creates a map containing the dimensions of the room.
In a researcher’s paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letter, they say, existing “algorithms for active echolocation are poorly developed and often rely on hardware requirements that are out of reach for small robots.” The researchers also say, “Their method is model-based, runs in real time, and requires no prior calibration or training.” Their solution could give small machines search and rescue missions or the ability to be sent to previously unknown locations that larger robots can’t reach. It has a wide range of potential applications as it requires only ware.
Researchers have found during testing that it is not as accurate as systems that use larger and more expensive hardware such as GPS sensors and cameras. However, we hope to improve the accuracy in future versions and remove the need for the system to generate sound. Instead, we want the system to be able to echolocate using sounds produced by the drone itself, such as the propeller whine.
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