Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA

DARPA has no ordinary wish for Santa - a Fast Lightweight Autonomous (FLA) indoor drone. And they want it by May 1, 2015. Tick tock, Santa, tick tock.

This is a sole source synopsis for the acquisition of Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) platforms in anticipation of a new DARPA/DSO program called Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA). The program intends to develop novel representations and algorithms to enable small air platforms to fly fast (e.g., at least 20 m/s) in cluttered environments (e.g., indoors) using on-board autonomy with small size, weight, and power components. To enable quantitative comparisons between different approaches to autonomy, the FLA program will require the use of identical platforms. DARPA will provide a platform as GFE to FLA performers selected under an anticipated FLA broad agency announcement (BAA).

The source will be required to develop a platform with the following characteristics: (1) a high-performance autopilot with bi-directional communication to custom closed-loop motor controllers, integrated low-level calibration software, and built-in sensor error detection and redundancy features; (2) an open interface that enables manual piloted control, autonomous control through an onboard computer or wireless communication module, vehicle configuration and tuning, and user customizable feedback of various sensor data from the autopilot; (3) modular design enabling rapid replacement of components after a crash; (4) modular design enabling the anticipated FLA performer teams to easily add their own processors, sensors, and other equipment to the platform; (5) employ electric propulsion using multiple rotors in order to hover; (6) produce 3,600 g of thrust in order to achieve high speeds; (7) exhibit a thrust to weight ratio above 3:1 with a 300 g battery in order to achieve high maneuvering agility; and (8) measure under 28 in. from end to end with propeller guards in order to fit with at least 8 in. of margin through 36 in. windows.

I'm pretty sure that this device was fully spec'ed out quite some time ago. The Scarab robot flying insect from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 classic The Scarab, comes to mind. The scarab easily avoided obstacles in complex indoor environments.

Here are a few other examples from sf, the literature of ideas (tm):

  • Blurbflies
    From Jeff Noon's Nymphomation (2000); these are the perfect disinformation and propaganda devices.
  • Bee Cam
    From Karen Travis' City of Pearl (2004); this is just what you want for autonomous surveillance.
  • Aerostat Monitor
    From Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age (1995), these tiny devices kept a watch on the borders.
Via Feds.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/11/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...' - Manly Wade Wellman, 1938.

Cyborg DragonflEye At Your Command
'The dragonfly responded like a toy airplane, taking off and heading east...'

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...' - Roger Zelazny, 1980.

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.' - Robert Silverberg, 1969.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.