Researchers at the Robotics and Perception Group at the University of Zurich have created autonomous drones equipped with event-based cameras that can respond to changes in a scene on a per-pixel basis in microseconds. The time it takes any kind of robot to avoid an obstacle is constrained primarily by perception latency, or in other words, the sensor itself, which is why event cameras are a game changer, since they can collect data with a theoretical latency measured in nanoseconds. Read more for a video and additional information.
“Impressive, right? As far as the drone is concerned, this is a clever way of mimicking obstacle encounters in high-speed flight, since it’s relative velocity that’s important. Also, the researchers say that in each case, motion capture data confirms that ‘the ball would have hit the vehicle if the avoidance maneuver was not executed,'” reports IEEE Spectrum.