A very impressive demonstration of what on-board intelligence can now do — an MIT project by Andre Barry to fly a small drone with a stereo vision system capable of avoiding trees and other obstacles while flying at 30 mph.

Existing small drones are almost brainless and do little more than follow GPS;  this new drone with an intelligent vision system — built using off-the-shelf electronics — points to a future of far more intelligent craft.  This type of technology will enable future generations of drones which can navigate both outdoor and indoor spaces reliably at high speed.

Andre Barry’s paper describing this work , “Pushbroom Stereo for High-Speed Navigation in Cluttered Environments” can be read here.