"You don't have to know about anything that's closer or further than that," Barry said in the statement. "As you fly, you push that 10-meter horizon forward, and, as long as your first 10 meters are clear, you can build a full map of the world around you."
As a result, the software, which is open source and available for free online, runs 20 times faster than existing navigational software.
The system is not perfect. Occasionally the software gets estimates incorrect, so it is not yet ready for a cluttered environment such as a dense forest, for instance. But Barry believes the algorithms can be improved.
A copy of the paper can be read here.