Anyone 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 this 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.
So, 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.
Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form
of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey
through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo,