A new robot 'brain', based in part on the workings of the human inner ear, has enabled the production of the world's first small robotic
helicopter that can see and think for itself, say Australian researchers.
The 'brain' and helicopter - called "Mantis" - was announced this week by CSIRO Complex Systems Integration.
Autonomous helicopter flight is characterised by helicopters that can fly without a human pilot or guidance from a remote-controlled device. Although
many teams worldwide have been working on so-called vertical take-off, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the CSIRO helicopter is the first to fly
completely independent of expensive global positioning systems (GPS) guidance. Instead it uses its brain to control its balance and orientation.
"While GPS may seem like an ideal technique to use, it has many drawbacks in practice, particularly in built environments near large structures which
can obscure or reflect signals from the GPS satellites," team leader, Dr Peter Corke told ABC Science Online.
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