The Joint Development of an Automatic Flight System for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Allow it Avoid Obstacles Automatically from the University of Tokyo, Ricoh, and BLUE INNOVATION


A research consortium including Professor Shinji Suzuki, Professor Takeshi Tsuchiya and Assistant Professor  Christopher Thomas Raabe of the Suzuki/Tsuchiya Laboratory of the Department Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, has successfully completed an indoor flight experiment, using a small drone system co-developed with Ricoh, a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. The experiment used a super-wide stereo camera and IMU sensors, ensuring a stable flight, without access to GPS, and with the ability to avoid obstacles along the route. Blue Innovation, a drone integrator and drone service provider, also participated in the experiment. The experiment will greatly raise our safety expectations for autonomous drones operating where GPS signal reception is unstable or impossible. Some examples are dangerous work inside institutions, warehouses, under bridges or inspecting the inside of tunnels, etc. The results of our experiment will contribute greatly to accomplishing dangerous jobs in locations where visual observation is difficult. The group will run a demonstration flight of the jointly developed system at Japan Drone 2017 to be held in Makuhari Messe March 23 to 25, 2017.