CMU's Sebastian Scherer on the path to truly autonomous rotorcraft

This is a really interesting lecture on the challenges and progress towards truly autonomous rotorcraft, which Scherer defines as aircraft that do not follow pre-programmed missions but instead dynamically change their paths depending on obstacle and objectives determined in flight. 

This is the path that the APM/Pixhawk project is on, too, and the introduction of "rally points" in current version of the code is the beginnings of the dynamic waypoint control that is the foundation of this. Right now we do some dynamic mission planning, such as geofencing, terrain following and autolanding patterns. But with the generation of code enabled by the more powerful Pixhawk platform, this will extend to something closer to what Scherer defines as true autonomy, with the ability to automatically adjust missions in flight to avoid obstacles, follow targets and adjust mapping paths in response to changing image acquisition needs (obscured shots or changed lighting).

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Comment by Jack Crossfire on April 27, 2014 at 3:39pm

So when did 3D Robotics fly the MD500?


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