Researchers at FEL CTU presented inovations in aerial robotics

The Multi-robot Systems Group demonstrated results of the development of new technologies for aerial robots in Temešvár, South Bohemia.

During the practical flight demonstrations, the group demonstrated a technology which prevents hostile takeover of control over the drone in the form of GPS spoofing. GPS Spoofing is an intelligent form of jamming where a drone receives fake GPS signals broadcast from an enemy transmitter and “believes” it is in a different location. Spoofing attacks are an increasingly common means of manipulation, especially in war conflicts. This can lead to the misuse and redirection of aerial robots by the enemy to attack their own equipment, or drones can be forced to land in this way so that they end up in the hands of the enemy.

The solution, created in the Multi-robot Systems Group, uses the drone’s on-board sensors and on-board artificial intelligence. “The developed method is able to detect that the drone deviates from the original assignment and suddenly starts to behave differently. The system evaluates this as an attack and switches the drone to a mode in which it will ignore the enemy’s GPS coordinates and will follow the on-board artificial intelligence and sensors available during the flight,” explains dr. Martin Saska, head of the Multi-robot Systems Group (MRS). The second method of protection against GPS spoofing, which the MRS group verifies during flight tests, consists in filtering and amplifying the original GPS signal so that the drone follows it and does not have false coordinates imposed by the enemy.

A swarm of fully autonomous drones with on-board artificial intelligence behaves like birds.

Drones programmed by scientists from Karlovo náměstí surpass the world competition with the highest degree of autonomy, thanks to which they form a team of independent and simultaneously cooperating robots in the air. Although they transmit a minimum of information during flight, they, like a flock of birds, are able to process external stimuli and adapt their behavior to changes in the surrounding environment. Similar to birds, they use the presence of other robots in their surroundings and the shared intelligence of the swarm in places where the sensory equipment of an individual is not enough and a drone flying alone would fail.

The ability to fly in a compact dynamic formation made up of twenty autonomous drones was also the subject of flight demonstrations in Temešvár near Písek, where almost seventy roboticists from the MRS Group are verifying the results of their basic research with drones in the air. It was a unique opportunity to see the results of their research during extensive practical flight demonstrations, which can only be realized in remote areas outside of Prague.

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Responsible person: Petra Rosická