DARPA’s latest project is Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program that has recently released a video demonstrating the wonderful skills of the autonomous drone that the project is working on. The project is aimed to ‘explore non-traditional perception and autonomy methods that could enable a new class of algorithms for minimalistic high-speed navigation in cluttered environments.”
This amazing drone is capable of flying indoors with a speed of 72km/h and does so without requiring any input from the operator. Sporting a number of sensors and cameras, the drone faultlessly vrooms around the indoors and gains data for later analysis.
Apart from flying at cruising speed, the drone is also capable of bypassing obstacles. You can see it flying around in a hangar that has been filled using stacked boxes to create obstacles. When put to test, it was able to fly around without requiring any assistance.
DARPA’s ultimate aim with such projects is to create tools that can be operated in location and situations where a human’s access is not possible or puts the life in danger. The agency isn’t working on new drones but rather technologies that existing drones can benefit from as well.