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 purview 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.
Posted January 12, 2013
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through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD
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