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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fly like a bird: Artificial intelligence to assist drones navigating air currents | Drones - We Talk UAV News

"From many millennia humans have looked to birds soaring in the sky and had dreams of flying" observes Feilidh Dwyer, Author at WeTalkUAV.Com.

Photo: We Talk UAV News

In the past 115 years, humankind has gotten pretty good at the whole powered flight thing. However, there is still plenty of knowledge we can draw from the natural world to help us fly more efficiently.

The Conversation reports that researchers based in California and Italy have sought to better understand the way soaring birds (such as albatross, hawks or eagles) find and navigate thermal updrafts to soar.

Thermals can form and dissipate at short intervals. If you’ve ever observed soaring birds fly, you’ll notice they don’t constantly flap their wings to stay aloft. Rather, they keep their wings outstretched and intuitively navigate wind currents and thermal updrafts, meaning they can stay flying for long periods while expending very little energy...

The implications of this research are numerous. If conventional aircraft were to be more efficient at using data from thousands of hours of flying, and using machine learning to better detect thermal updrafts, they could potentially use less energy (fuel) on long journeys which would mean a little less carbon being pumped into our precious atmosphere. Nature continues to show us the way!

Source: We Talk UAV News