After 12 years the National Center of Competence Research (NCCR) is closing its activities. At its closing ceremony, it awarded as the most impactful research a project developed by the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with the University of Zurich.
Created in 2010 by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the NCCR has fostered collaboration among several Swiss laboratories, including IDSIA USI-SUPSI, with the goal of developing new technologies that improve people’s quality of life.
The paper "A Machine Learning Approach to the Visual Perception of Forest Trails for Mobile Robots" was awarded as the highest impact paper for the entire lifespan of the competence centre. Authored in collaboration between IDSIA and the University of Zurich, it was published in 2015 in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. The project led to the development of Artificial Intelligence software that could teach a drone to recognise and follow trails in the forest without human assistance, supporting teams in rescue activities.
Alessandro Giusti, Jérôme Guzzi, Dan Ciresan (currently CEO of Conndera Research), Gianni Di Caro (currently at CMU in Qatar), Juergen Schmidhuber, and Luca Gambardella collaborated in the research, as well as two co-authors who were IDSIA assistants at the time: Fang-Lin He (now at Meta) and Juan Pablo Rodriguez Gomez (now at the University of Seville).