Remember all those scenes from science fiction movies where spaceships were able to land on other larger, moving spacecraft or space stations? Well, here is something to keep you entertained – a drone that is able to land by itself on a car. What makes this act all the more special is the fact that the car itself is moving at 45mph, which means the drone would need to make real-time calculations before it makes a perfect landing. It certainly bodes well for the world of drones, especially when an algorithm has been developed to allow drones to avoid obstacles in real-time on their own.

In a project by the German Aerospace Center, or DLR as it is know, they have come up with a system that targets ultralight and fragile solar-powered planes, where in order to “capture” the drone, researchers placed a suspended net on top of a car that was driven at 45mph, before letting the drone match the vehicle’s speed and locking onto the target. This is made possible thanks to the drone’s camera that will look out for a marker which resembles a QR code, before it makes that perfect, soft landing.

Will this evolve to larger and larger drones, and see it happen on faster and faster cars? Nobody can tell the future, really, but exciting times are surely ahead of us.

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