Delivery drones to be "Smart" to avoid obstacles
Intel, the microchip giant, has unveiled a drone which automatically dodges falling tree trucks and other moving objects. The drone uses lasers and a 3D camera to monitor its surroundings for obstacles. An evasive manoeuvre in triggered by on-board artificial intelligence if a crash seems likely.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel, which owns the drone maker Yuneec, demonstrated the collision avoidance technology by flying the craft over an obstacle course and past falling "trees". The drone waited for obstructions to clear or flew around them.
Nasa is developing an automated air-traffic control system for commercial drones to stop them crashing into helicopters, building and each other. The agencies experimental system relies on software algorithms rather than human air-traffic controllers to monitor flying conditions up to the 400ft, the current maximum allowed.