Are you, perchance, a nature enthusiast? If so, then you would know how easy it is to get lost in the forest, especially for those who think that following the trail is too mainstream and adventureless. Well, even though you are an expert trekker, these things do happen once in a while. But fear not, because drones will be used to find people lost in the woods.
The new study centered on search and rescue drones is currently conducted by the University of Zurich. The team of scientists working on the project has managed to come up with a technique that enables self-reliant drones to travel high and low through the woods, following the unwinding path in search for lost hikers.
Doing a bit of researcher, the scientists from the Swiss University have discovered that people often tend to miss a fork in the road, thus ending up in the middle of nowhere. So, it’s only logical that the first place to look for someone is the area near the forest path.
But here’s the catch: how do you teach a drone from telling apart a tree from a meadow or a path? Well, it would seem that the Swiss scientists actually managed to figure out this one. According to their statement, the solution to this problem is easier than it seems.
Rather than equipping the search and rescue drone with heavy scanners or sensors, the teams aim to develop powerful deep learning AI algorithms. According to their statement, a drone possessing such traits can easily distinguish between different landmarks in its environment.
The future search and rescue drone will be probably equipped with highly sensitive cameras. With this gadgets, the drone will be able to scan the area in order to identify certain landmarks such as the trail, potential obstacles and yes, even people. Scanning for humans is much easier than telling apart a tree from a pack since face recognition technology has boomed in the last couple of years.
Basically, the drone will identify the main path and will start to follow it. While doing this, it will continue to scan for human activity. Once they will identify the missing trekkers, it will use its instruments in order to signal their position.
The scientists in charge of the project explained that the deep-learning algorithms they are currently developing for the drone are very similar to what Google used to fire up the Deep Dream project. They also pointed out that depending on the trail’s visibility and position, the algorithms will instruct the drone into steering in a specific direction.