SAMWISE Algorithm for Drone Navigation with No GPS

Robotic Gizmos

Using drones in unmapped, GPS-denied environments is not always straight forward. Draper’s SAMWISE sensor-fusion algorithm can address the problem. It allows drones to fly 45 mph in unmapped environments.

Draper and MIT created a UAV that can autonomously sense and maneuver through unknown environments without external communications or GPS under the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program […] sensing and algorithm configurations and unique monocular camera with IMU-centric navigation gives the vehicle agile maneuvering and improved reliability and safety—the capabilities most in demand by first responders, commercial users, military personnel and anyone designing and building UAVs

The key was to develop a solution to allow UAVs to perform missions autonomously with a limited onboard computing power. These sensor- and camera-loaded UAVs were tested in cluttered warehouses and tree filled outdoor environments.

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