While doing research for the next issue of MAKE, I discovered this small company, Centeye, right here in my own Northern, VA backyard. They’re developing vision chips for autonomous robotic aircraft. They have several videos on their site, showing various types of tests. Unfortunately, the videos are in WMV format only, and not on YouTube.
The video screen cap above is of a micro helicopter holding its position using only visual information from a ring of six of Centeye’s ArzPro sensors, mounted in the yaw plane. No gyro is used. Other videos show obstacle avoidance behaviors and the robot fliers taking control if the operator tries to fly them into something. Cool stuff. We’ll have to try and get the engineer behind this to present at a Dorkbot.
Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.View more articles by Gareth Branwyn