Autonomous exploration with pocket drones

Themes: Robotics, Software technology & Intelligent systems

Early lab scale demonstration

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Tiny drones are inherently safe and thus suitable to perform functions in areas where people are present as well. They are truly autonomous which vastly expands their range of applications.


The complete system, including stereovision, autopilot, localisation, computing power, and power source, is included in a 20 to 50 gram drone. This is enabled by super-efficient software and clever, often bio-inspired, tricks and data processing methods.


The first applications are foreseen in agriculture and emergency response situations. The platform is expected to be ready for commercial application in 2022.

Dr. Guido de Croon


Christophe de Wagter MSc

Kimberly McGuire MSc