Google Project Tango + Parrot AR Drone 2.0 = Millimeter precise robotic navigation
Google’s Project Tango smartphone is loaded with advanced sensors, vision processors and motion tracking camera that let it track millimeter precise positioning in space by creating 3D maps in real time. On the other end Parrot AR Drone 2.0 powered by a 1GHz 32 bit ARM Cortex A8 processor has its own set of sensors for advanced navigation. So the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania led by Professor Vijay Kumar have combined both these gadgets to demonstrate how the capabilities of each can be used to provide highly advanced navigation capabilities for the drone.
The drone can be stabilized in the air without the use of any external GPS device or sensors using Tango phone which can open immense possibilities for flying UAVs. The advanced 3D maps that the Tango phone can create will help immensely in navigating drones in tight spaces or pre-planned paths. This surely is going to lower the barrier to entry for autonomous robots.
In the video given below you can see how this drone retreats back to its set coordinates if even altered physically by hand. And the next step in development is to make the system navigate indoor spaces with precision for various kinds of operations.