Autonomous R/C Helicopter Aerobatics

Autonomous R/C Helicopter Aerobatics - Airplanes and RocketsAnyone following the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the last decade of so knows about the incredible advances that have been made in airframes, propulsion, communications, and autonomous flight. One of the latest video to hit the Internet is Autonomous Helicopter Aerobatics through Apprenticeship Learning, Graphs - Airplanes and Rocketsthis one showing an R/C helicopter that has been programmed to fly 3-D aerobatics without a human pilot. For those of you who routinely fly these maneuvers, it might not seem like such a noteworthy feat, and maybe it's not for the human brain, eyes, ears, and fingers, but take a look at some of the mathematics that are governing what you have learned to do.

The brain-bending sophistication of a control system that incorporates feedback from gyroscopes, GPS, audio and visual sensors, accelerometers, and other inputs is the perview of doctorate level thinkers. Of course to even be able to approach a project like this requires either the engineer/scientist himself to be a proficient R/C helicopter pilot, or he must have the assistance of someone who is.

Autonomous Helicopter Aerobatics through Apprenticeship Learning, Equations - Airplanes and RocketsSo, if you are an accomplished 3-D heli pilot, you can rightly be impressed with yourself for routinely performing PhD level thesis work every time you take to the air - without even being aware of your brilliance!

                      Autonomous R/C Helicopter Flight

         Autonomous R/C Helicopter Autorotation Landing
          Note that it appears to "learn" and get better each time.