DRONes and ARTIFICIAL intelligence: SANT’ANNA school doctoral student participates in three-year DRONE challenge competition drone contest with six teams from italian universities. a live stream event will take place in july

Autonomous flying drones use artificial intelligence (AI) systems and AI-based cameras for security surveillance and aerial view monitoring. Within a few minutes, drones provide quick facial recognition, trace unwanted objects, get photographs and information; however, to develop machines capable of intelligence gathering in the future, the company Leonardo S.p.A., a leader  in the aerospace industry for electronic security and defense systems, has announced the Drone Contest, a three-year Open Innovation challenge for six Italian university doctoral students focused on smarter drones with a high level of accuracy.

Leonardo has offered a partnership agreement to Sant’Anna School,  the University of Roma Tor Vergata, Politecnico of Torino, Politecnico of Milano, University of Bologna and the University of Napoli Federico II to develop AI drones, algorithms to fuse the data from multiple heterogeneous sensors and multi-sensor data fusion systems to be deployed in multi-environments, unstructured, indoor and outdoor scenarios.

Every year, the six teams will attend the Drone Contest event and share their knowledge. In July 2020 live stream, students present their projects and in September the teams will compete and   apply the computer vision technology.

In the innovation through collaboration Drone Contest 2020, the teams working together will have a chance to design, test, and fly the AI-based drone prototype through multiple simulations.

Sant’Anna School Doctoral student Edwin Herrera, earned his university degree in Mechatronics Engineering in Ecuador and Mexico and received his master’s degree (robotics and automation) in Pisa. In attending the Drone Contest 2020 funded by Leonardo S.p.A. he will have the opportunity to extend his skill set with the latest computer vision   techniques applied to the drone industry.

Herrera is currently working at the TeCIP Perceptual Robotics PERCRO Lab.  under  the supervision of researchers Massimo Satler, Carlo Alberto Avizzano, and Paolo Tripicchio. They are developing on advanced systems automated with AI-based techniques for view mapping, monitoring, and tracing in unknown environments. While AI drones are expected to play a crucial role in security, traffic and transportation mission areas, researchers will make sure to design applications with an accurate on board image processing and a neural network for object detection, classification, and tracking while flying into the air. They are expected to design self-navigation drones equipped with GPS coordinates about departure and destination points without manual control thanks to the AI-enabled computer vision and machine learning technology so the drones can learn from the data analysis.

The AI UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technologies and the Drone Contest will provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and university partners to exchange experiences that would encourage students to build a career in the drone industry. The Association for UAV International predicts that there will be more than 100,000 new jobs in unmanned aircraft and drone technology by 2025.   New drone jobs will be created together with drone degree programs to prepare students and young professionals to work in a collaborative way to create solutions for drones’ flight challenges.

The company Leonardo S.p.A. is cooperating with higher education institutions to integrate industry professionals and create instrumental knowledge for a national ecosystem where SMEs industries cooperate for innovation with private and public sector knowledge providers.


Drone Contest 2020 - Mappatura dell'ambiente
Drone Contest 2020 - Ambiente sconosciuto simulato per testare algoritmi
Drone Contest 2020 - Riconoscimento di features nell'ambiente simulato