Drone Major Group
by on January 8, 2019
A small drone equipped with a digging tool gets a lift from a larger drone to travel long distances.
The NIMBUS Lab at the University of Nebraska has been developing drones that have the unique ability to dig holes in the ground and then fill those holes with sensors. If this sounds like a complicated task, that’s because it is: The drone needs to be able to carry a portable digging system a useful distance, locate a diggable spot, land, verify that the spot it thought was diggable is in fact diggable, dig a hole and install the sensor, and then fly off again.
At IROS late last year, folks from the NIMBUS Lab presented a paper detailing a rather burly quadcopter that could carry an auger with an embedded sensor and use it to place the sensor in the ground (you can see a video of this in action here). And at ISER a few weeks later, they presented another paper on how the drone can autonomously figure out whether it’s digging in a good spot or not.