While drones are no longer an alien term to human beings but still the technology even after so many years of its discovery hasn't yet been able to realise its full potential.

Even now, landing a drone on a moving platform is a very difficult task both from a scientific and an engineering point of view. But since they're now being inducted in the defence sector and the mining sector in various countries, including India, there's almost no room for error.

In order to overcome this challenge, a team of researchers from University of Cincinnati has been teaching drones also know as unmanned aerial vehicles how to successfully land on moving targets. They are applying a concept called as the fuzzy logic to make this possible. Fuzzy logic can be best described as the kind of reasoning the common man employs subconsciously every day in his life.

While scientists care about accuracy and precision in almost everything they do in life, a majority of the common population gets through their everyday life by making inferences and generalities, or by using the fuzzy logic. The concept encourages people to not to think of the world in black and white and allows for nuance or degrees of truth.

The researchers are employing the fuzzy logic to program drones so that they can make better navigational decisions while in the air. The method has the potential of eventually making drones autonomous, which can lead to the technology finally landing in the hands of the common man rather than just big corporates and scientists. The research team includes Manish Kumar, an Indian-origin researcher who is also an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati.

Kumar and his co-authors, Nicklas Stockton, a UC researcher, and Kelly Cohen, an aerospace engineering professor, recently presented their research and findings at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ “SciTech 2017 Conference” held in Texas.

According to Kumar, their method is the only way through which drones can have realistic, commercially viable uses. Presenting the paper, he also noted that the problem of drones having difficulty in navigating their ever-changing airspace is compounded when they have to make a landing on a moving platform such as a delivery van or even a US Navy warship pitching in high seas.

He added, in such scenarios, the drones have to land within a designated area with a small margin of error. This is where the fuzzy logic will help the drones to make good navigational decisions amid a sea of statistical noise. According to him, it’s called “genetic-fuzzy” because the system evolves over time and continuously discards the lesser solutions.

Kumar, Stockton and Cohen have even successfully used fuzzy logic in a simulation to show that it is an ideal system for navigating under dynamic conditions. Currently, Stockton, an engineering master’s student, is putting the concept of fuzzy logic to the test in experiments to land quadcopters on robots mounted with landing pads at UC’s UAV Multi-Agent System Research (MASTER) Lab.

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