Shield AI’s Indoor & Subterranean Drone’s Level 5 Autonomy

US-based Shield AI and Australian company EPE have partnered to deliver AI pilot functionality to military UAV operators in Australia and New Zealand using Shield’s Nova 2 drone. The drone features Level 5 autonomy— it can operate independently in GPS-denied environments. The drone uses path planning, mapping, and computer vision to autonomously navigate complex environments. On 10-12 August, EPE demoed the Nova 2 at the Army Robotics Exposition in Adelaide, Australia.

The operator sends the drone into a building or other enclosed space, and can set perimeters to limit where the drone flies. A live video feed is displayed on the smartphone, and a real-time map is drawn using onboard sensors as the drone explores the space at 2,000 square feet per minute. Photos courtesy of John Francis Peters via and Our thanks to Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for her assistance with this report.