An army of drones could protect Australia from bushfires and help in alpine search and rescue efforts if a collaboration between the University of Canberra and technical engineering firm Tactical Research Pty Ltd gets funding.
For 18 months the teams have been working on their vision and in the coming months they will be collecting data to better the technology for these specific uses.
For bushfire tracking, the technology attached to a drone can pick up everything from temperature and wind direction, to fire spread and the direction it is travelling.
The initial stages of the project aimed to identify opportunities to solve real-world problems with field robotics platforms and the technology created by Tactical Research called Cognition. It was then that they set their sights on the two goals of bushfires and search and rescue.
Mr Russell said previously, technology allowed robots like drones to capture and collect raw data like footage, but it could potentially take hours to analyse that data and make decisions based on that.
“What we saw was the potential to do that on the drone itself, in real-time.”
The Cognition technology, he said, was designed for military application. It represents a new generation of field computer that is able to make decisions in the field on its own, on very low energy usage. All of that is contained in a device about the size of an iPhone.
Image Credit: The Canberra Times via Sitthixay Ditthavong
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