Special Issue on Novel Technology of Autonomous Drone
Satoshi Suzuki and Kenzo Nonami
Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University
1-33 Yayoicho, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
Chairman of the Board, Advanced Robotics Foundation
2-1-7 Shintomi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0041, Japan
In the past three years, there has been rapid progress in the use of drones in society. Drones, which were previously used only experimentally in various industrial fields, are now being used in earnest in everyday operations. Drones are becoming indispensable tools in several industrial fields, such as surveying, inspection, and agriculture. At the same time, there has also been dramatic progress in autonomous drone technology. With the advancement of image processing, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and artificial intelligence technologies, many intelligent drones that apply these technologies are being researched. At the same time, our knowledge of multi-rotor helicopters, the main type of drones, has continued to deepen. As the strengths and weaknesses of multi-rotor helicopters have gradually become clearer, drones with alternate structures, such as flapping-wing drones, have come to attract renewed attention. In addition, the range of applications for drones, including passenger drones, has expanded greatly, and research on unprecedented drone operations, as well as research on systems and controls to ensure operational safety, is actively being conducted.
This special issue contains the latest review, research papers, and development reports on autonomous drones classified as follows from the abovementioned perspectives.
· Research on drone airframes and structures
· Research on drone navigation and recognition with a focus on image processing
· Research on advanced drone controls
· Research and development of drone applications
We hope that the readers will actively promote the use of drones in their own research and work, based on the information obtained from this special issue.