AlphaPilot – Formula Drone UCLA

AlphaPilot – Formula Drone UCLA


The cool thing about drone racing is that,
it really is where the excitement and spontaneity of sport, and the creativity of engineering
kind of converge. I first got into drones as a hobbyist in 2009,
and I’m amazed at how far the industry has grown since then. So in high school, I came across a DRL race,
and after seeing that on TV I was hooked. I think what really inspires me about this
competition is the fact that it’s working towards the future of flying robots, but at
the same time, focusing on the humans behind the AI. I joined Alphapilot because in my whole career
as an engineer, I was mostly doing theoretical stuff, and I wanted to try something practical,
to challenge myself. Through this challenge, we can demonstrate
to the world and the larger public the capabilities of autonomous flying vehicles. Just imagine seeing a high speed precision
demonstration of an entirely autonomous machine. Alphapilot presents a very unique challenge
in building autonomous drones. My job was to build the eyes of the drone;
just like in nature birds use the visual cortex to see where to fly, our system is based on deep neural networks. I’ve been dabbling with drone racing for over a year now and I think autonomous drones are the way to go. I believe that autonomous drones are the future,
and I want to make that a reality. If we get this right, and we really get this
right, we won’t just be creating technology for drone racing, we’ll be accelerating aerospace,
commerce, the military, everything! If we win Alphapilot, we would donate a portion
of the winnings back to Formula Drone, because this club is what brought us together as a
team.

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