U.S Army demonstrated a self-flying Sikorsky helicopter


The U.S. Army and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) successfully demonstrated automated takeoff and landing manoeuvre on Sikorsky S-76B helicopter.

The helicopter demonstrated an obstacle avoidance manoeuvre, during which the helicopter avoided unknown objects, such as wires, towers and moving vehicles, that were detected by onboard LIDAR and cameras; an automatic landing zone selection manoeuvre, during which the helicopter’s LIDAR sensors determined a safe landing zone; and a contour flight mission, during which the helicopter flew low to the ground and behind trees.

The pilot carried out the maneuvers using supervised autonomy in an aircraft equipped with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS). He operated the system via novel control interceptors and a tablet he had used for the first time just three days beforehand.

Credit: DARPA

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