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
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.
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.
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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, MD