Autonomous robotic plane flies — indoors

For decades, researchers have been working on control algorithms for autonomous helicopters — robotic helicopters that pilot themselves, rather than requiring remote human guidance. Dozens of research teams have competed in a series of autonomous-helicopter challenges posed by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); progress has been so rapid that the last two challenges have involved indoor navigation without the use of GPS.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Robust Robotics Group — which fielded the team that won the last AUVSI contest — has set itself an even tougher challenge: Developing autonomous-control algorithms for the indoor flight of airplanes.

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Studying trends in general aviation

A researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has focused her thesis project on general aviation trends and is asking for help from general aviation pilots.

The goal of the study is to gain a better understanding of the factors that drive general aviation activity in the United States, [Read more…]