Tandem drones use WiFi to see through walls


Drones

Do you remember, in june 2015 scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara used Wi-Fi-equipped ground-based robots to obtain two-dimensional images of objects hidden behind brick walls. But now they are using aerial drones, they’ve obtained 3D images of similarly-hidden objects. To pull this off, the drones are each equipped with WiFi transceivers and fly in tandem outside the target building. The one drone blasts Wi-Fi through the structure and another picks up the signal. Then, working in tandem, the two drones fly around the solid structure until it maps the differences in wave strength at different points. Using this information the researchers have been able to create a 3D model of a closed building.

Yasamin Mostofi (a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB) explains:

“Our proposed approach has enabled unmanned aerial vehicles to image details through walls in 3D with only WiFi signals. This approach utilizes¬†only WiFi RSSI measurements, does not require any prior measurements in the area of interest and does not need objects to move to be imaged.”

According to several technology experts, this research could help in search & rescue, archaeological discovery, structural monitoring and other purpose.

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