DailyDirt: Robotic Planes... Seriously, And Don't Call Me Shirley.

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Human pilots get tired and need sleep -- and some airline pilots get some rest at "crash pads" when they're off duty. Knowing that might not be too comforting to many passengers, but who's willing to let a robot fly a few hundred people around? Autonomous planes are getting more advanced all the time, though mostly for unmanned missions with aircraft that couldn't possibly carry people on board. Maybe someday we'll have autonomous Jetson-cars... in the meantime, here are a few links to some interesting UAVs and flight automation. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    It's not so much safety as it is profits.

    The FAA limits the number of hours a pilot can work (including traveling to where the jet is), and puts many more restrictions on them to insure that they are well rested when they are flying.

    The biggest problem for pilots is boredom. In my experience almost all pilots are type A personalities, and once they take off the planes do fly themselves. An emergency might crop up at any second that requires their attention, but until it does the pilot and copilot have nothing to do. That's where some of the human error you're hearing about comes from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Pixelation, Feb 18th, 2011 @ 10:51pm

    The age of Ender approaches.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2011 @ 1:25am

    Anybody interested in a robotic hummingbird UAV for spying?

    Youtube - theworacle - AeroVironment/DARPA Nano Hummingbird UAV flying

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2011 @ 1:26am

    Now maybe Disney can have their Tinkerbell's to land on the lanterns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    chris, Feb 19th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Engineers can only design systems to handle situations that they anticipate. A thinking pilot can potentially come up with a solution in such a case whereas a computer could not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 8:29am

    An aerospace engineer once commented that the reason we have people in the front of airliners is because people stand
    a better chance than a machine of solving an unanticipated problem. With that exception,
    automating the process would be easy, we're almost there now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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