"Intelligent drones" compete in inaugural competition at Jiao Tong University

Xiangyi Chen
About a dozen intelligent drones shocked people with their capability to perform tasks like crossing barriers and searching for objects in competition Friday.
Xiangyi Chen
Dong Jun / SHINE

One competitor carefully watches the drone his team is flying on Friday in Jiao Tong University in Shanghai.

About a dozen intelligent drones shocked people with their capability to perform tasks like crossing barriers and searching for objects by themselves on Friday at Shanghai's Jiao Tong University.

They were competing in the final of the first SJTUAV Intellisense Competition, representing different universities from around China.

One team from Jiao Tong won the first place and two from Wuhan University took the second and the third places.

The competition was not about how fast the unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) could fly, but how smart they were in navigation and recognition with algorithms originally created by their owners.

"Students can buy drones and related devices, such as cameras and sensors, but they must write the programming by themselves to make their machines finish the required tasks correctly and quickly," said Zou Danping, a researcher at Jiao Tong and one of the creators of the competition.

About 20 teams took part, with 10 making it to the final on Friday, which included two tasks, “UAV Checkpoints” and “Cooperative Searching.”

Dong Jun / SHINE

A team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University checks their drone during the competition on Friday.

Zou said they were trying to test the students' abilities in the comprehensive use of several courses they have learned.

"Drones for consumer use have been very popular in areas like photography, mapping and environmental monitoring,“ he said. "But the industrial use of drones is more complicated and faces more challenges, and intellisense will be a key to breaking through the bottleneck."

"With intellisense 'brains,' drones become flying robots," he added. "Drones will not be an exemption from the era of artificial intellegence 2.0."

Dong Jun / SHINE

A competitor holds a drone during the competition on Friday in Jiao Tong University.


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