NASA plans to prevent Drones From Colliding

The fleets of the drones can one day shoot up the heavens by delivering tennis shoes, the sauce of pastas and the basketballs ordered by people on-line. But before it happens, the specialized systems of air-traffic control must be developed to pilot the flying robots and to prevent them from colliding one into the other one.

To help to create these systems of air-traffic control of the drones, NASA and a group of partners including universities, the manufacturers of drones and technological giants as Amazon and Google, work together to develop the technology, which would make such a system possible. The Amazon AMZN-3.37 % and Google GOOG-1.41 % have to take advantage because both of them work on the deliveries of the drone.

Within the framework of the project, a research team of Stanford University said on Thursday that they build the software, which can notify multiple drones before they collapse in airs and divert them.

At the heart of the system is an algorithm of avoidance of claimed conflict, which will prevent collisions after the integration in a system of air-traffic control, according to Stanford’s announcement of the research.

The technology of avoidance of collision is a variant of similar technology created to help planes to avoid accidents in midair. Mykel Kochenderfer, the adjunct professor of Stanford of aeronautics, created this technology during his working part to the MIT (MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY).

The technology was now modified to coordinate multiple drones for the piloted plane by Kochenderfer. The researchers said that the creation of a similar system for drones presents a unique challenge because many drones could fly in the closeness one to another in blocked cities whereas, for example, simultaneously delivering articles to a house.

Stanford researcher Hao Yi Ong said in a statement said that as the number of aircraft grew, the avoidance problem became exponentially more complicated,  the problem called by mathematicians – the curse of dimensionality and that they had to come up with better ways than just brute-force searching and iterating through all possible solutions.

The the researchers argue that they executed more than 1 million simulations of collision of drone using the software, but they recognize that it is not completely ready for primetime. The issues with drones communicating between them  and ” deliberately disruptive drones “ and bad weather have to be taken into account by the software. The NASA hopes to finish before 2019 the system of global air-traffic control, which the Stanford team waits to finalized the software and use it with this system.

During the summer, the researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno created the software, which lets drones communicate with the on the ground and tested the technology with the Flirtey, it is a drone startup.