Drones will be able to search for those lost in the forest without GPS

Written by Hassan Abbas

Drones will be able to replace the search groups and find anything in the forest. A new system awaits a great future.

Drones have proven themselves in search and rescue operations, but not in dense forests, where trees can block the GPS signal. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a solution to this problem. The researchers propose to use the same technology that is used in cars with autopilot.


Scientists from MIT have developed a system for UAVs using LIDAR to create a forest map without using GPS. Each drone creates a 2D map, taking into account the location of all the trees, which allows determining its location when viewing a given area. In addition, the system will be able to combine the maps of all involved in the search for UAVs and comb large areas with minimal effort.

MIT technologies will make drones even more effective in finding people in dense forests and in other areas that are problematic for rescuers. They will be able to view the search area much faster, which is very important in rescue missions when the bill goes on for minutes.

However, while the system has limitations. At the moment, it still needs an external ground station for combining maps, and for identifying people with drones, an object recognition system is required. MIT researchers are confident that in the future, drones will be able to use maps together, coming into contact, bypassing the ground station and will independently recognize objects.

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If they really achieve this, then the advantages of drones over search groups will be obvious. Rescuers will be able to save more wounded and lost tourists in the forest using a fleet of drones than relying on large groups of people. Moreover, they can do it faster and easier.

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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