If you get lost in the woods, could a drone come to your rescue?

New research publicized Wednesday outlines a fresh application of drone technology: hunting down intrepid wilderness explorers who take a wrong turn.The work, published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, took drones down a road they had never yet been down, training them to pick out and pursue trails in the forest.Scientists involved in the project hope the technology will eventually provide vital assistance to search and rescue teams, although there are skeptics who worry it may provide yet one more weapon in the arsenal of Big Brother.“Our main motivation was to see how far we could go in solving a problem that’s very difficult, even for humans,” says lead author of the study, Alessandro Giusti of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Switzerland, in a telephone interview with The…


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