Drone Delivery Canada to Develop Vision-Based Drone Navigation System

By Mike Ball / 29 Mar 2017
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Drone Delivery Canada has announced that it has entered into a Sponsored Research and Collaboration Agreement with the University of Toronto and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Development granting program to jointly develop a vision based navigation solution for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to safely navigate without the reliance of GPS technology.

For DDC, the partnership will provide the company with leading technology on the forefront of Drone Auto-Pilot Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Technology to safely navigate without the reliance of GPS technology moving DDC another significant step closer to commercialization. In this partnership, DDC will benefit from the intellectual property developed and will integrate into its Proprietary FLYTE Auto-Pilot System.

“We are working on this next generation BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) drone technology with some of Canada’s smartest minds,” commented Paul Di Benedetto, CTO of Drone Delivery Canada. “This collaboration will greatly accelerate our development of vision-based navigation technology for our FLYTE software management and auto-pilot systems required for commercialization,” added Di Benedetto.

The development initiative will be co-led by Professor Angela Schoellig and Professor Tim Barfoot of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). Professor Schoellig heads up the Dynamic Systems Lab at UTIAS. She is also an Associate Director of the newly founded Center for Aerial Robotics Research and Education (CARRE) at the University of Toronto. With her team, she conducts research at the interface of robotics, controls and machine learning. Professor Schoellig has been working with aerial vehicles for the past eight years and, more recently, has applied her motion planning, control and learning algorithms to self-driving vehicles. Professor Barfoot, who holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Autonomous Space Robotics, is an expert in vision-based navigation and is the Principal Investigator of the Autonomous Space Robotics Lab (ASRL) at UTIAS.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is co-funding this project alongside DDC. DRDC is the national leader in defence and security science and technology and is an agency of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND), providing DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities with new knowledge and technological advances.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact