Drone Pathfinding algorithm

via The Verge: Autonomous search-and-rescue drones outperform humans at navigating forest trails

This is really cool.

However:

1) Only at the very end do you see the custom built drone that is actually running the algorithm on an onboard computer, it doesn’t look like it does very well. (the previous shots are from a quadcopter controlled by a laptop carried by a person)

2) The Verge title states “autonomous search-and-rescue drones” as if that is a thing that exists. It doesn’t, this algorithm may one day be used effectively in an autonomous drone.

3) Search and Rescue isn’t always following a trail, it takes place in areas that are extremely remote. This sort of drone may possibly be useful, if the algorithm is improved, and batteries are improved, and lost hikers stay near the trail. Perhaps it could run down trails quickly looking for signs of lost hikers. But to do that it needs to actually be autonomous.