OSU professor helping lead the next generation of drone research - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU professor helping lead the next generation of drone research

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(courtsey Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) (courtsey Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
(KPTV) -

While most people have heard of schools of fish and swarms of bees, they may have never heard of a drone swarm.

It's the latest technology that has scientists excited, and some of the research making this new technology a reality is being done at Oregon State University.

The U.S. military has one project using a small drone swarm that would hopefully one day help protect troops. OSU computer science professor Julie A. Adams is part of a team that will receive up to $7.1 million to develop the infrastructure to make it work.

The idea is that the drone swarms that can be 50, 100 or up to 250 drones in size would be able to go into areas the military can't see to make sure they are safe.

The drones work together like a school of fish or swarm of bees, and beyond the military applications. Adams said the new technology could be used to fight forest fires or help first responders in the case of a disaster.

“This is pretty exciting, this is one of the biggest efforts related to swarms thus far,” she told FOX 12. “It’s a technology that’s coming, and we need to, as a nation, be at the forefront of developing these technologies.”

Part of what Adams is working on is what's called swarm interaction grammar, which would give a user a way to get the drones to work together to do things like flanking or establishing a perimeter, as well as help create communications from the swarm to nearby users.

Last year in China, a record swarm of 119 aerial vehicles was launched. Adams hopes that after their project, which could take years, they could launch a swarm of 250 drones.

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