Gamers will be so excited about this one. At least their skills and experiences in Games have started taking shape in real life. And maybe, just maybe, a day will come when one has to be a pro gamer before some employers will give you a job.
Do you know how you control helicopters in war games like battlefield? Flying over battle infested terrains with bullets and machine guns preying on your bird; trying to bring it down? Aurora Flight Science, which is an aviation and aeronautics research company recently acquired by Aerospace giant, Boeing demonstrated a fully autonomous military helicopter doing just that.
During the demonstration which took place at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, a fully autonomous, old UH-1H Huey helicopter flew three missions to deliver cargo without a pilot present in the cockpit to control it. It’s just two infantrymen providing instructions from a smack hand-held tablet.
Now, one of the things that’s interesting about this helicopter is the fact that its technology is very different from that of unmanned aircrafts.
The helicopter was fitted with onboard LIDAR and camera sensors that enable it to detect and avoid obstacles and also evaluate the landing zone all by itself. But an unmanned aircraft, on the other hand, needs a detailed flight direction from ground operatives to carry out any decision it needs to make during its flight.
According to Aurora, their technology which was demonstrated on the helicopter’s system needs only a destination information and lift-off permission from the two marines handling the tablet, then the system will control itself all through the flight, using its sensors to avoid obstacles and no-fly zones, deciding the best routes to follow to get to the destination and also picking the best landing spot nearest to the troops it’s trying to get to.
Finally, the technology will work for other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, not just military helicopters.
This is a significant push that will take technology to the next step. According to the commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat development command, in a statement during the demonstration, he said. “The young Marines today have grown up in a tech-savvy society, which is an advantage. We’ve got to keep pushing and moving this technology forward”.
Well, while this technology on helicopters will not replace all helicopters very soon. But it will be used on so many helicopters which makes it the future.
Almost all helicopter crashes today are attributed to pilot error, but since the helicopter will be operated by a Machine (an A.I) I guess and the ground operators only have to give destination instructions and lift-off permission, this human errors can be cut down to 20%.
And again, do you think that, as the technology takes over, so many pilots will get their days in service numbered? That has always been the fear of man against this type of technology, we are scared we will wake up one morning and see machines doing our JOB.