Autonomous racing drone claims landmark victory against human pilots

One of the many ways researchers are working to improve the performance of autonomous drones is by having them compete against humans in the business of racing them. It takes some skill to pilot a tiny quadcopter through confined spaces at blistering speeds, and by developing algorithms that outperform these feats, we may usher in a generation of drones with incredible capabilities. Through a novel algorithm that can plot a flight path with great efficiency, scientists at the University of Zurich are now claiming to have done just that.

In the space of a few years, drone racing went from an underground hobby for aircraft enthusiasts to a professional sport, and among the bodies facilitating these high levels of competition is the Drone Racing League. For the 2019 season, organizers included for the first time a dedicated competition for developers of autonomous drones, who could pit their self-piloted aircraft against one another for significant cash prizes.

A drone developed at…