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Teaching Drones to Find Lost Hikers
Scientists in Switzerland are developing drones that can pick out forest trails as skillfully as an expert hiker. The drones use a color camera to identify footpaths through wooded areas and are equipped with deep neural network software that has been programmed to recognize the signs of a trail and to avoid overhanging branches and vegetation. Though the drones are still in development, they could one day help rescue teams find lost hikers.
Researchers believe that, eventually, drones will work in conjunction with search and rescue teams to reduce the workload of rescue workers and help hikers get rescued faster. “Small flying robots are incredibly versatile, and the field is advancing at an unseen pace,” says Luca Maria Gambardella, director of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence. “One day robots will work side by side with human rescuers to make our lives safer."
Read complete story, and watch a 5-minute video showing how it was designed and how it works, here
- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via mentalfloss.com, 2/14/16)