Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2022
Space junk

The amount of satellites being sent into space, to keep connecting the wider world and provide humans with the latest technology, is exponentially increasing. Along with this comes an increase in the amount of space debris circling the Earth. These expensive pieces of equipment can sit in orbit and damage other satellites that are making their way around our planet, causing a ripple effect of damage.

What can the AI program do?

Thanks to a new AI program, invented by UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, these crashes may be a thing of the past. Future robots encoded with this algorithm may be able to avoid collisions and carry out autonomous tasks such as repair, maintenance, and assembly. In turn, reduces the amount of space waste. The project was presented at the start of 2022 at the Science and Technology Forum and Exposition in January in San Diego, California.

“We have to provide a reliable collision-avoidance algorithm that operates in real-time for autonomous systems to perform a mission safely. So we proposed a new collision-avoidance system using explainable artificial intelligence,” Daegyun Choi said, a scientist working on the project.

How did they develop it?

Firstly, the team used 2D simulations to model real-life events. Strangely enough, the avoidance system was test run in a virtual supermarket! Here, autonomous robots were programmed to navigate aisles and people in them, the same type of technology used in self-driving cars.

“We can see unexpected human behaviors there and learn how well we can actually predict their follow-on motions,” said study co-author Donghoon Kim. “Likewise, we can test how we can operate those robotic platforms autonomously without causing collisions.”

The AI software, details reported in Aerospace Research Central, was next leveled up to be tested on 3D models and yielded great success. The next steps are to test the algorithm in a zero-gravity environment, where how it operates may change.

The rise of AI in aerospace engineering

AI is a technology that hasn’t been utilized that much in the field of aerospace engineering, due to the lack of binary right or wrong outcomes. “That’s because aerospace engineering is very conservative,” Kim said. With this new collision-avoidance system, Kim and his colleagues are hoping the avenue of AI programming will open up and become more commonly considered as a viable solution.

Source study: Aerospace Research Central Collision Avoidance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using Fuzzy Inference System-Aided Enhanced Potential Field

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

“Blue Corridors”: using science and animal instinct to save fish populations

We’ve all marveled at the intrepid salmon swimming against the current, up waterfalls, and avoiding predators to return to its native spawning grounds, or at least we’ve all seen it on a nature show. This ... Read More

The Local Infrastructure Hub: helping US cities get infrastructure funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was signed into law six months ago and has the potential to transform the United States in essential ways that address climate change and wealth inequality. Before that happens, though, states ... Read More

New desalination system uses Teflon-like membrane to make seawater potable

Clean drinking water is already in short supply in many places around the world, but the situation is only expected to get worse with climate change. Figuring out ways to desalinate brackish water or seawater ... Read More

How scientists are bringing human eye cells back from the dead

Scientists from Switzerland and the US were able to achieve something miraculous—some might even say Biblical: bringing dead human cells back to life! The team published a study that opens by defining death as the ... Read More

Turns out the job market isn’t all doom and gloom after all

Life is a surprising adventure, experiencing ups and downs when we least expect it, so, of course, just as we come out of a global pandemic there looms the possibility of an economic recession. Amid ... Read More

MIT system uses machine-learning to reduce traffic and car emissions

As if idling in a line of cars at a red light forever wasn’t bothersome enough, vehicles emit greenhouse gasses while they’re stopped in traffic. Not only that, exposure to excess vehicle emissions while idling ... Read More