A startup called Exyn Technologies Inc. today revealed AI software that enables drones to fly autonomously, even in dark, obstacle-filled environments or beyond the reaches of GPS. A spin-out of the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Labs, Exyn uses sensor fusion to give drones situational awareness much like a human’s.

In a demo video shared by the company with TechCrunch, a drone using Exyn’s AI can be seen waking up and taking in its surroundings. It then navigates from a launch point in a populated office to the nearest identified exit without human intervention. The route is not pre-programmed, and pilots did not manipulate controls to influence the path that the drone takes. They simply tell it to find and go to the nearest door.

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