Getting Autonomous Vehicles to Work Together

Getting Autonomous Vehicles to Work Together



(upbeat music) – My research is on unmanned
aerial vehicles, or UAVs. These are basically any object that flies and does not have a pilot. The way things operate right now, The human operator does
a lot of work on his own to be able to just tell
the UAV what to do. And, as you can imagine,
this is inefficient because the pilot needs to
be in constant communication, and you can only have one
pilot do one thing at a time. The primary things I'm trying
to do is to try and make UAVs fly by themselves, fly autonomously and, at the same time, try and accomplish complex tasks rather
than just go from A to B. It can achieve things
like survey this area, look for something interesting, like maybe a person
who is in need of help. And if you do find that, go
report it somewhere else, where you can actually get that help from. Most of the testing that we do is actually through simulations. We have obviously managed to demonstrate a lot more capability in the simulations, but to translate these
simulations to a real-world test takes a lot of effort and time. So, we have been able to test, to an extent, in the real world, but not all of the results
that we have in the simulation. So, the research that I'm doing for the AFOSR Young Investigator Program is about making UAVs cooperate in teams such that they automatically
figure out how to concentrate resources in areas that
are needed the most. One of the areas where UAVs
have the potential to be used a lot is emergency response
or disaster management, let's say responding to
a flood or a hurricane, to deliver emergency
supplies or medical supplies. The outcomes of this
research that I'm doing can lead to coordinated actions between unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned trucks on the ground such that resources are focused
wherever they are needed and people who are in
most need get help first.

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