CSAIL Gets $7.5M To Develop Bird-Like UAV

MIT's CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) has been given a $7.5 million dollar grant by the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop a robotic bird.

The multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI) led by CSAIL Associate Professor Russ Tedrake will bring together a diverse group of researchers to develop a UAV capable of navigating both urban and forest environments using vision-based control.

“UAVs are currently not reaching their full flying potential,” said Tedrake. “They’re flying conservatively, like large planes. We want to create a UAV that can fly through a crowded environment and fly well despite complicated air flow.”

The MURI brings together seven principal investigators working in the fields of biology, machine vision, planning and control and UAVs, led by Tedrake. Team members include: Emilio Frazzoli (MIT), William Freeman (MIT), J. Andrew Bagnell (CMU), Andrew Biewener (Harvard), Martial Hebert (CMU), Yann LeCun (NYU) and David Lentink (Wageningen University).

Researchers are aiming to develop a UAV with a 24” wingspan, capable of flying between 5 and 15 meters per second, navigating dense urban and natural environments and perching like a bird. The project will draw from Tedrake’s work with both fixed and flap-winged UAVs, and with perching gliders.

“The control tools developed in the Robot Locomotion Group are well-suited to this problem, and will showcase the types of control design we do here,” said Tedrake.

The UAV, which will be modeled, in part, on the results of extensive study into bird flight, will be a wingeron plane, meaning that the plane’s wings will be able to rotate fully for maximum maneuverability.

Researchers at CSAIL will be focused on building the actual planes and designing the machine’s control system, which will utilize Freeman’s work with image deblurring, allowing the plane’s vision-based control system to distinguish obstacles and targets while traveling at high speeds.

SF readers have been anticipating these devices for decades; compare the description provided above with Little Bird from Greg Bear's 2003 novel Darwin's Children and the tracer bird from Roger Zelazny's 1980 novel Changeling.

Via CSAIL.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/5/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1939.

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...' - Henry Slesar, 1958.

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...' - Greg Bear, 2003.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

Tiny Drones With Sticky Feet Pollinate Flowers Now
'The Scarab rubbed its hind legs together...'

ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.'

CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
'That moisture trickles down...'

Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...'

Ardu McDuino, Bagpipe Robot
'Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused...'

Not Quite Self-Replicating Robots, Franka Emika
'... it shares with mankind the ability to propagate.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.