The discovery’s potential applications include self-driving cars, smartphones that can guide the visually impaired and drones that can help firefighters at night
As the industry for self-driving cars, robots and other unmanned vehicles quickly evolves – and engineers work to overcome the limitations of sensors that use visual, infrared or thermal information – math experts at Purdue University and the Technical University of Munich have proven there’s another, equally viable solution: using sound.
Mireille “Mimi” Boutin, associate professor of mathematics at Purdue University, and Gregor Kemper, professor of algorithmic algebra at Technical University, found that a drone equipped with four microphones and a loudspeaker can precisely reconstruct the wall configuration of a room by listening to echoes, similar to how bats use echolocation to orient themselves.
Their work is significant because it demonstrates the feasibility of using sound for navigation in unmanned systems, leading to many potential applications such as cars, drones, underwater vehicles or even devices that people can carry, such as a smartphone. [Read more…] about Math experts use drones to show it’s possible to ‘see’ perfectly using sound