Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fast and Accurate Knife-Edge Manoeuvres for Autonomous Aircraft - YouTube

Robot Locomotion Group at MIT have built a computer-controlled aircraft that flies accurately enough to navigate safely through a gap that is smaller than its wingspan.

Here they demonstrate multiple flights of this vehicle with on-board camera footage and high-speed video.

Many small flying robots still have all the grace and awareness of a drunken pigeon, except that comparison probably disrespects the pigeon.

MIT robotics engineers took inspiration from our fine feathered friends to make a flying robot with the lightning-fast reflexes to dodge through gaps smaller than its wingspan.

That does not quite rival the impressiveness of a bird in flight or a "Star Wars" Jedi tearing through the forest of Endor on a speeder bike, but it's pretty good for a mechanical creation.

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