Clever copters can learn as they fly

SHEFFIELD, England — Flying robots that can show true autonomy and even a bit of politeness in working together and venturing into hostile environments are being developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield.

The research paves the way for robots to work intelligently alongside humans in ways that are currently familiar only through science fiction films, according to university officials. They note the robots could play important roles in crisis situations such as search and rescue missions, or operate in environments where it would be dangerous for humans to work.

Using simple flying robots, called Quadcopters, the team, based in Sheffield’s Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE), has created software that enables the robot to learn about its surroundings using a forward facing camera mounted at the front of the machine.

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Students start building plane

GlasairSportsman

Four students, a teacher, and two advisors from Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas, Nevada —which won the second General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge — began building a Glasair Sportsman airplane June 16 at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Washington.

The team, which was announced as the winner of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) competition last month, will assemble the aircraft over the next two weeks.

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San Diego museum gives $38,500 in scholarships

The San Diego Air & Space Museum’s mission statement is to inspire young people to tackle the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic disciplines and to make a difference in the world through an innovative, adventurous spirit. To further this goal, the museum and Convair Alumni Association has selected 12 students to receive a total of $38,500 in scholarships.

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AeroCamps take off

Coast to coast, for the fifth year in a row, kids between the ages of 12-18 will be flocking to local AeroCamps for the chance to explore aviation and aerospace this summer.

AeroCamp is a day camp program hosted by members of the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA). [Read more…]

AirVenture tempts teachers with freebies

You don’t have to be a pilot or an aircraft mechanic to enjoy the largest general aviation gathering in North America. To prove that point, Build A Plane, in partnership with AirVenture, is offering teachers a very special perk for attending the festivities on Tuesday, July 28, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For the fifth year, they are sponsoring Teacher’s Day to share information on how aviation can be used in the classroom to enhance STEM curriculum and engage students.

“Teacher’s Day is free and open to any teacher who’d like to attend,” says Build A Plane’s Executive Director Debbie Phillips. “We would like anyone who’s able to be a part of it.”

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