AI to be incorporated into drones; will cost about US$25k each
Despite limitless potential for industrial drones today... it's not a simple task to utilize them outdoor due to safety concerns. To help the industry overcome some of these obstacles... Korea will begin funding local drone manufacturers to come up with drones tailored to the needs of state agencies.
For this week's IT and Science Front segment... our tech correspondent Kim Ji-yeon visits two local drone manufacturers taking part in the government project.
The Korean government announced plans to directly invest in a number of consortiums led by local drone manufacturers... to develop drones that will be put into use by state-run agencies.
A combined 672-thousand U.S. dollars will be allocated to a handful of local drone companies within a two-year period to upgrade their hardware and software.
They were screened in a series of tests by local experts and consultations in the field.
One of the consortiums led by Internet-of-Things related solution provider HUINS aims at building drones for the National Police Agency, focusing on search and surveillance purposes.
The company's product is currently able to fly a two-kilometer distance within 40 minutes in a single charge and says it plans to equip high-tech cameras to aid its missions.
"We're planning to build surveillance drones that can simultaneously operate its high-quality optical cameras with 12-million pixels and thermal cameras to aid authorities search for missing persons during night time or in remote areas difficult to access."
HUINS says it will work on incorporating artificial intelligence to quicken the search process so that the drone can independently distinguish whether a displayed figure is a human or simply a moving object.
This can considerably reduce the search time which have so far been done manually.
Another consortium led by local startup and unmanned aerial system developer Eden ENG... has been tasked with upgrading its drones so that they can fully function in environments that are traditionally unfit for operation,... that is, over the high seas.
The drones are to be built for use by the Busan Regional Office of Oceans and Fisheries to aid the agency's maintenance and inspection of floating buoys for the safe passage of ships during night time.
"The drone is to be able to fly over the ocean, even in strong winds and wet conditions." For now, structural developments to the Eden ENG's drones prevent the aircraft from falling into the ocean.
The company says it plans to make the drones transmit data in real-time and allow them to take off again if they happen to fall into the ocean during their operations.
"Unlike previous drones, our drones don't have to tilt facedown to advance forward in windy conditions. The drone's main body remains horizontal with only the slope of the drones' motors tilted forward in such conditions. This is possible due to its software that detects rapid weight and slope changes and immediately adjusts them."
When the two-year consortium expires,... both companies plan to make their improved drones available for use among private industries... under the price tag of around 25-thousand dollars for each unit.