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Race between Human Racing Pilots and Algorithm to Fly Drones – New Algorithm Flies Drones Faster


Published on: August 3, 2021,

A drone is a type of Robot in fact most advanced equipment in field of robotics. It can be programmed to fly in certain path without having a pilot in it. Drones need to be quick as their battery is limited and they should complete their tasks with a given time like searching for people in disasters. Their trajectory go through windows or through rooms. A recent experiment shows that drone with programmed Algorithm outperform professional pilots.


A research group at University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can seek quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor which is a drone with four propellers through a series of waypoints on a circuit. David Scaramuzza, who heads the Robotics and Perception Group at UZH says, “Our drone wins fastest lap of two world class human pilots on an experimental race track.”


“The novelty of the algorithm is that it is the first to generate time- optimal paths or trajectories,” says Scaramuzza. Previous work were unable to create time optimal paths. “Rather then assigning sections of the path to special waypoints, our algorithm tells the drone to pass through all waypoints, but not how to or when to do that,” adds Philipp Foehn, PhD student and first author of paper.


The researchers had an algorithm and two human pilots fly same quadrotor in a race. External cameras were used to capture the motion of the drones. To ensure just race human pilots were given the opportunity to train. The algorithm won the race. Its lap were faster and performance was more consistent. It was found that once algorithm found the best trajectory it can generate it many times.


For commercial applications the algorithm will need to be less time consuming as it takes an hour for computer to calculate trajectory. With this algorithm it has potential to the use of drone will be more popular and its use will serve mankind is a better way in the future.


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