Drone Uses Event Camera to Dodge Soccer Balls Thrown At It

Researchers from the University of Zurich's Robotics & Perception Group have developed and fine-tuned event-based cameras for drones. Compared to traditional cameras, event cameras feature very high dynamic range (140 dB vs. 60 dB), high temporal resolution, low power consumption, and they do not suffer from motion blur. In a paper published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the University of Zurich researchers study just how much of a difference it can make for drones to use event-based cameras. In this video, to demonstrate rapid, dynamic obstacle avoidance, they are showing how a drone uses an event camera to dodge a soccer ball thrown at it. The autonomous drone uses an onboard visual-inertial odometry for state estimation, and no external position tracking system.