To better train drones and reduce the risk of damage to itself and its surroundings, MIT engineers developed a training platform called “Flight Goggles” based on virtual reality. This enables a fast-flying drone to train within a virtual environment while speeding through empty physical space. Given the nature of VR, these drones can now safely train for any environment and condition.
Without Flight Goggles, drone training typically includes a large enclosed area with nets to catch “careening” vehicles and physical props including doors and windows. If they crash, that’s an added expense to the project due lost time, repairs, or a complete drone replacement. This type of training is ideal for slow-moving drones designed to scan an environment, not fast-moving models.
“The moment you want to do high-throughput computing and go fast, even the slightest changes you make to its environment will cause the drone to crash,” says Sertac