Open-source flight control tech company Auterion is teaming up with German artificial intelligence (AI) software specialist Spleenlab to provide tiny but powerful supercomputing capacities aboard drones for business and government users.
Auterion said inclusion of Spleenlab’s Vionary Perception software and ML algorithm as part of its ecosystem opens the way for safe, AI-based, fully autonomous drone use in infrastructure detection and inspection missions with enhanced collision avoidance capabilities. To do so, Auterion has plugged Spleenlab programming into its Skynode and AI Node modules, which contain all the flight controller, mission computer, and connectivity tech drones use while in flight.
The upshot is an all-in-one product enterprise and public UAV operators can rely on for safe, autonomous inspections, using drones whose onboard computing allows them to understand surrounding environments and avoid collisions. That perception power also enables craft operated by first responder and emergency service clients to automatically identify safe landing spots as they near crisis situations, and touch down safely and successfully to make deliveries.
The partnership represents a geek fantasy amid the whirring rotors of customer drones. Auterion’s description of how that works explains how:
Spleenlab’s VISIONAIRY AI, built to be safe from ground, together with Auterion’s AI Node, which is equipped with the world’s smallest AI supercomputer for embedded and edge systems, transforms Skynode itself into a supercomputer. The combination runs AI right at the edge onboard any drone. Software running on the Auterion ecosystem enables autonomous inspection of critical infrastructure—empowering enterprise users to scale beyond single-pilot, single-drone operations.
That combination will allow Auterion clients using products enhanced with Spleenlab tech to automate inspections, avoid collisions, detect and track objects for automated flight maneuvers, and identify obstacles on the ground.
It will also enable UAVs to estimate air risks including cooperative and non-cooperative aviation traffic with up to a 360-degree field of view and several kilometers range.
“Together with Spleenlab, we’re demonstrating that the future of robotics is now with our combined AI, machine learning and onboard edge technologies,” says Markus Achtelik, vice president of engineering at Auterion. “This new partnership brings together the best technologies—Auterion’s Skynode and AI Node with Spleenlab’s Visionary Perception Software—to deliver the best possible autonomous solutions for enterprise drone users.”
The capacities created by Auterion-Spleenlab platforms are also being touted as major performance assets toward future autonomous and secure beyond visual line of sight operation by companies and public agencies.