NAU researcher making drones smarter, situationally aware and team-oriented with $480,000 NSF grant
Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have opened the door for an unprecedented number of uses for unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs). Groups of drones now can work together in networks for purposes such as traffic control, smart agriculture, surveillance and security systems, law enforcement, public safety and much more.
However, current drone systems are missing key considerations such as the ability to identify and respond properly to environmental and behavioral factors, says Abolfazl Razi, an assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) at Northern Arizona University.
That’s why Razi is working to make drones smarter and more autonomous. The director of NAU’s Wireless Networking and Smart Health (WiNeSH) Lab, Razi has received a $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project titled, “Proactive Inverse Learning of Network Topology for Predictive Communication among Unmanned Vehicles.”
Through computer programming, he believes drones can be developed to express situational awareness, recognize malfunctioning, suspicious or invading UAVs and make adjustments on the fly.