MIT develops a cheap and highly agile autonomous plane for indoor navigation

MIT researchers recently published a video of their highly agile autonomous plane drone that is able to navigate through indoor locations. Their video shows a good overview how the autonomous plane is able to automatically build a navigation map out of a laser range finder scanner and to find its way through indoor locations.

Traditionally, these environments have been dominated by quadcopters or similar air drones. The minimalistic design of this plane allows low cost survaillance tasks within indoor locations, such as parking garages, as it is shown within the video below.

Open Source Desaster Relief Drone

After the experiences they made with getting an overview about the damage the tsunami spring wave in Japan caused last year, OpenRelief designed a cheap open source desaster relief drone. OpenRelief is a collaborative effort of 12 professionals from around the globe to create a prototype drone that can fly itself into and out of disaster zones to take photos and video and map roads, people and smoke. Sensors will measure weather conditions and radiation. That critical information can then be sent to relief workers on the ground.