MIT's New Software Teaches Anyone How To Make Their Own DronesBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has created a software that allows almost anyone create their own drones and test it virtually. What more, they can customize the drone according to their preferences.
According to Tao Du, the head of the project, the software enables anyone to customize their own drones in any way they like and test it in a virtual environment. All they need to know is how to use a screwdriver. That means if someone wants a star-shaped drone with five rotors, they can definitely create that using the software.
Although the database is still relatively small, users can mix and match the parts and components to custom-built their drones however they like it. More so, the software also tells them whether their creation can fly or not. It also tells users how to optimize their creation so it suits their preferences including the maximum payload and battery life as well as the spinning direction of the propellers.
According to Du, they have developed an algorithm that efficiently finishes any optimizations in just a matter of seconds but the actual results can differ. They cited that in one drone, the optimized version is 30 percent much heavier than the original version.
The researchers added that there are practical applications to drone customization other than create fancy looking drones. They said that the primary reason why they created the software was because they observed that most of the drones in the market are not designed to carry objects with unusual shapes. They also observed that the drone rotors sometimes obscure the camera it is carrying. With the software, the team hopes that these problems will be addressed with a drone that has a much better design. They also hope that through the tool, a customized drone that carries unusual payloads can be built.