As I've mentioned before, honey bees are being used to sniff out air quality near German airports.
Ironically, Australian researchers now want airplanes to fly like honey bees. That way, the airplane can sense its position and guide itself through loops and make other difficult moves.
Currently, airplanes depend on gyroscopes for navigation. The new system designed by the Australian researchers is much faster at calculating the position of the plane and it does it with more accuracy.
“We have created an autopilot that overcomes the errors generated from gyroscopes by imitating a biological system – the honeybees,” said Queensland professor Mandyam Srinivasan, in a statement.
According to the news release:
The group first “trained” the system to recognize the sky and the ground by feeding hundreds of different landscape images to it and teaching to it compare the blue color of the sky with red-green colors of the ground.
The autopilot system worked in an actual unmanned aerial vehicle. Proof? The UAV didn't crash, after all. And the UAV pulled off "a barrel roll, a full loop and an Immelmann turn."
The system uses two cameras, which gives a 360 degree view up in the air. This allows the plane to identify the horizon right away and sense its position.
Military, sports, and good old fashion commercial planes could use this autopilot system.
via The University of Queensland andPopular Science
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