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Researchers Create Drone Swarms That Can Detect Gas Leaks, Other Threats

New research has pointed towards the creation of the first autonomous small drone swarm capable of detecting gas leaks, chemical threats, and mapping without the aid of GPS systems. The research may be pertinent to the military, where there has been an increasing interest in small drones that are able to conduct several tasks with little human control. The lack of GPS requirement may also be attractive as the drones may be able to reach tight places where GPS is ineffective, such as underground. The drones can also be used in situations where there is a threat to humans, such as when there are chemical weapons or other health hazards present.

The drones, called nano quadcopters, are small and easy to carry and deploy. Their small size also provides another advantage, it makes them difficult for enemies to target. However, they are too small to run certain algorithms, and perform light detection and ranging. The new paper published by IEEE researchers from the Netherlands, Spain, and the US discusses the advancements and the algorithm that allows for the small drones to map areas and locate hazards.

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