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 ")

MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

Bionic Eye-Hand Combo Robot Grasps Objects On Its Own
'The crawling, exploring object was V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

FarmBot, Your Personal Robotic Farmer
'A robot farmer was plowing...' - Philip K. Dick, 1954.

Fukushima Plant Needs Radiation-Proof Scorpion Robots
'...with lead-bodied, radio-remote controlled androids, it's easier.' - Mari Wolf, 1952.

 

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

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'

Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'

Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'

Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.

Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'

MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'

WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'

Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

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.