Metamaterial Radar May Improve Car and Drone Vision

Powerful radar, mostly limited to the military, could soon be cheap enough for cars and consumer drones to use.

Plenty of people play with small drone aircraft in their backyards these days. Tom Driscoll, cofounder and chief technology officer of a startup called Echodyne may be the only one whose quadcopter packs the kind of sophisticated radar used on fighter jets. “We flew it around, did some collision avoidance, and locked onto one of our engineers and followed him around my backyard,” says Driscoll.

Radar instruments that can be used that way are normally bulky and extremely expensive. Echodyne is working on a device that is compact and cheap enough to be used widely.

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