VaCAS member Tomonari Furukawa is leading an international team that is using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology to develop high-speed, high-accuracy navigation systems for autonomous cars.
The team is demonstrating its mapping technology at the Tokyo Motor Show, one of the largest international venues for the automotive industry.
Virginia Tech faculty members are studying driverless cars, exploring the feasibility of using autonomous helicopters to manage crops, and using drones to track the movement of airborne microbes.
“When people realize what they will gain through autonomous technology, we are going to see a drastic paradigm shift in the way we approach these activities,” says VaCAS director Craig Woolsey. “The economic impact will be enormous.”
VaCAS affiliate member David Schmale was included among Popular Science's 2013 Brilliant Ten, a recognition of young scientists and engineers who demonstrate the potential for world-changing innovation.
Schmale's research uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to track the movement of pathogens through the atmosphere. He is developing models of atmospheric circulation that can help predict outbreaks of human, animal, and plant diseases.