Human pilot beats Artificial Intelligence in drone race

Drones flew more cautiously but consistently against Ken Loo.

An expert human pilot was successfully able to beat flying drones controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) systems in a race organised by Nasa. However, the AI-driven drones were more consistent in their performance, scientists said. Drone racing is a high-speed sport demanding instinctive reflexes. Researchers at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US put their work to the test recently. Timing laps through a twisting obstacle course, they raced drones controlled by AI against world-class drone pilot Ken Loo.

The team built three custom drones — dubbed Batman, Joker and Nightwing — and developed the complex algorithms the drones needed to fly at high speeds while avoiding obstacles. The drones were built to racing specifications and could easily go as fast as 129 km per hour in a straight line. However, on the obstacle course set up in a JPL warehouse, they could only fly at 48 to 64 kilometres per hour before they needed to apply the brakes. “We pitted our algorithms against a human, who flies a lot more by feel,” said Rob Reid of JPL, the project’s task manager.

( Source : PTI )
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