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 ")

Xian'er Buddhist Monk Robot
'Getting to his feet he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.

AnBot Security Robot WILL Tase You, Bro
Michael Crichton right again.

Hover Camera - Unfold Drone, Shoot Selfie
'He set his camera to follow him...' - Karen Traviss, 2004.

Would You Date A Robot? 1 in 4 Say 'Yes'!
'My hands touched a great keyboard, whence, perfect through long practice, I could direct lifelike motion.' - Manly Wade Wellman, 1938.

 

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

Turing's Nose - Was That Scent Real Or Artificial?
'Rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender...'

Xian'er Buddhist Monk Robot
'Getting to his feet he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'

AnBot Security Robot WILL Tase You, Bro
Michael Crichton right again.

Hover Camera - Unfold Drone, Shoot Selfie
'He set his camera to follow him...'

A Baker's Dozen Of Autonomous Car-Related Revolutions
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars.'

Would You Date A Robot? 1 in 4 Say 'Yes'!
'My hands touched a great keyboard, whence, perfect through long practice, I could direct lifelike motion.'

Sophia, The Personable Robot From Hanson Robotics.
'The de luxe model... has fifty different facial expressions...'

Swimming, Slithering Snake Robot
John Connor, how do you feel about swimming snakes?

The First 'Drone Cafe' Started By Dutch Students
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'

Astronaut Tim Peake Completes Space Marathon
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses...'

Aerojet Rocketdyne 'Ion Drive' To Reach The Asteroids? (Update!)
'It has its own ion drive...'

Beatie Wolfe's Album Is A Deck Of NFC Cards
'The greater trumps ready to step right out through those glistening surfaces.'

Is Social Media Saving Space Travel?
'Officially, they were delighted to share their experiences with the public.'

iBubble Scuba Drone Follower
'Hovered behind him like a large tame bee...'

Ironing Robot May Fulfill Russian Science Fiction Dreams
Sometimes, the old inventions are the best.

Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'

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.