Lost in the woods? Send in the drones

Researchers are teaching drones to recognize and follow forest trails; they could soon be used to help find missing hikers. Few things are scarier than losing one’s way in the wilderness – yet with the pleasure and benefits afforded by interacting with nature, it’s a common occurrence. Every year, thousands of people get lost in the forest or mountainous areas – in Switzerland alone emergency centers receive 1,000 calls a year from lost or injured hikers seeking help. Which may be the reason why researchers from the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Zurich have developed artificial intelligence software to teach a small quadrocopter how to get around forest trails all on its own. The success, according to a press statement for the research, means drones…


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