Czech scientists develop drones for detecting radioactivity

Photo: Martin Pařízek, Český rozhlas

Czech scientists are developing a new technology that could help in accidents involving radioactive materials. Called the RaDron, it combines autonomous drones with unique particle detectors, which can expose even unknown sources of radiation.

Scientists from the Multirobotic Systems Group at the Czech Technical University’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering have long been involved in developing advanced autonomous drones.

In the past, they have worked, for instance, on a fire extinguisher for skyscrapers, and they can program swarms of drones that search for people lost in the wild.

Tomáš Báča, one of the members of the team, explains what makes the latest task particularly challenging:

“What is specific about this task is that we are measuring something that is not visible. With drones, we usually use conventional cameras or lidars, which provide us with data that we can easily understand. But when we measure radiation that is not visible to the human eye, it is something very special.”

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Authors: Ruth Fraňková, Ondřej Vaňura