A human manipulator has defeated a computer-controlled drone in the first human-machine battle held by the Drone Racing League,media reported. But the programmers behind the AI drone — the MAVLab team from the Netherlands — can still be pleased that the fastest self-driving aircraft flight record was set in the competition and a $1 million prize.
The Drone Racing Alliance is dominated by human pilots, but this year it opened its first computer-driven drone race, the Artificial Intelligence Robotics Race, or AIRR. During the race, two NVidia Xavier processors and four cameras are installed on the quadcopter, which must pass through a curved path around the obstacle and through the gate. MAVLab won the final game in Austin, Texas, on Friday.
In the next fight with the human aircraft, MAVLab’s drone lost to DRL’s top drone handler, Gabriel “Gab707” Kocher. He finished the race easily with six seconds, almost half the time it took a DA, which took 11 seconds.
However, the alliance expects AI drones to improve and defeat humans over the next few years. Ryan Gurley, DRL’s chief technology officer, is betting that this moment will be around in 2023.
Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is understood to have secured the $1 million bonus.