Scientists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering develop drones, which autonomously search for radiation

Experts from the group of Multirobotic Systems of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University (MRS) have joined forces with the company ADVACAM, with which they are working on the development of a drone independently searching for radiation. Compared to current systems, the drone can use an advantageous combination of small size and flexibility, so the device can be used in difficult-to-access terrain. The drones will be equipped with state-of-the-art detection technology that allows you to find the radiation source up to 100 times more efficiently than is possible today, at an incomparably lower acquisition cost. The detectors will be provided by ADVACAM, a developer of state-of-the-art imaging technology, supplied by, for example, NASA. The facility will serve the police, the army, rescue services and nuclear power plants. The prototype should be ready this autumn. The product should enter international markets in about a year and a half.

The innovative principle offers higher utility value compared to current competing products, at many times lower costs, and thus opens up interesting opportunities in the market where equipment can be used, especially in monitoring security risks - border controls, ports, airports, locations accidents, municipal waste repositories, regular supplies of isotopes for nuclear medicine.

For the implementation of the project, which is technically led by the researcher Ing. Tomáš Báča, a graduate of the Open Informatics program of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, in addition to scientists, students of this program and the Cybernetics and Robotics program of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering will also participate. At the same time, negotiations are underway on cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine - Kiev Polytechnic Institute of Igor Sikorsky. It is Ukraine that has recently been hit by large-scale fires, which have spread to the crashed Chernobyl nuclear power plant (34 years have passed since its explosion on Sunday, April 26, last year at Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Dr. Dana Drábová also commented on this unfortunate event in connection with the HBO series., in the lecture Chernobyl: Series and Reality).

As part of the project, scientists want to create a drone capable of flying and locating radiation where existing systems are unable to move in. The advantage for movement in hard-to-reach locations will be not only the small size of the aircraft (one, a maximum of two kilograms), but mainly the ability of autonomous flight. "We don't need what most drones need today to control the flight, and that's the GPS signal. The drone only needs sensors that it carries itself on board, thanks to which it detects even complex obstacles and can therefore move even where GPS navigation is not possible. Therefore, our system will be small at the same time, which will allow it to fly into an environment with obstacles, and at the same time it will be so smart that it will be able to fly in that environment, "said the group leader Dr. Martin Saska.

The group of multirobotic systems has had excellent long-term results. In February this year, together with a team of ground robots, it defended first place in the prestigious Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), organized by the University of Khalifa in Abu Dhabi.

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