X

EU Visitor Notice: This Website Uses Cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, to provide analytical data to better serve our visitors, and to serve advertising to fund our operations. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy.

Your preference will be saved for 90 days, or until you clear your browser cookies.


I AGREE
I DISAGREE
Learn More
Cool Gadgets, Gizmos, Games and Geek Stuff on Technabob
VISIT OUR OTHER SITES: THE AWESOMER | 95OCTANE

Autonomous Robot Plane is the R/C Toy You’ve Dreamed of

by Paul Strauss
Advertisement

I’ve always wanted to play with R/C aircrafts, but even with my “easy to fly” AR.Drone 2.0, I find myself crashing the thing into walls and the ceiling indoors. Thanks to some impressive work by MIT’s Robust Robotics Group, we might someday be able to fly autonomous planes that are so smart that they can avoid obstacles on their own.

autonomous_robot_plane

By using a special set of¬†algorithms¬†to calculate the plane’s trajectory, as well as its state (i.e. location, orientation, velocity and acceleration), the fixed-wing plane is able to fly quickly through cramped quarters, avoiding obstacles with ease. In fact, this plane can fly within centimeters of obstacles at a high rate of speed without crashing. The plane uses a laser rangefinder, accelerometers and gyroscopes to figure out its state, and a hugely complex series of computations to navigate through its environment.

While autonomous helicopters and quadrotors have been around for a while, a 2-meter-wide plane that can negotiate confined spaces with aplomb poses a much greater challenge, as it cannot hover, go sideways or make up arbitrary motions like those other aircraft. At this point, it appears that the system requires at least a rough, pre-existing 3-D map of its environment to work properly, but I’m sure with time they can figure out a way for the environment to be mapped in real-time as well. Kinect, anyone?

At this point, MIT isn’t specifying the exact applications for their design, but beyond military and rescue operations, I REALLY want to see a consumer version so I can stop crashing my AR.Drone.

Deals in The Technabob Shop



Go Chair Portable Chair

Go Chair Portable Chair

Why Sci-Fi Loves Dystopias

Why Sci-Fi Loves Dystopias

Making SNES Music

Making SNES Music

Advertisement
Steeda Makes Special Bullitt Mustang Even More Special

Steeda Makes Special Bullitt Mustang Even More Special

Jeep Wants to Roll Over the Mahindra Roxor

Jeep Wants to Roll Over the Mahindra Roxor

2019 Mazda MX-5 First Drive Review: Unadulterated Topless Entertainment

2019 Mazda MX-5 First Drive Review: Unadulterated Topless Entertainment