The Defense Adavanced Research Project Agency recently demonstrated depth perception capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using a vision-driven robotic-arm payload emplacement, according to a DARPA report.
The research team designed and developed a vision system to estimate the target’s position relative to the vehicle which enables the UAV to search and find the target for the emplacement autonomously.
Dan Patt, DARPA program manager, said the demonstration is a glimpse into the capabilities of next-generation UAVs.
V-Bat, MLB Company’s tail-sitter UAV, was used in the demo. A newly developed low-cost vision system and a special robotic arm which can carry up to 1 pound of load were mounted to it.
The new stereo vision system operates with the help of GPS. It follows the target and movement of the robotic arm in order to perform ordered tasks.
DARPA hopes that the new innovation will boost accurate delivery of small payloads into very remote locations.