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Cornell Builds Autonomous UAV

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the million-and-one-uses dept.

Toys 400

tshak writes "From Microsoft Research, 'Faculty and students at Cornell University have built an unmanned airplane with its own on-board, embedded control system. The large-scale model plane flies by accessing coordinates from an off-the-shelf GPS unit.' Not only does the plane run XP embedded, but the software is written in C# on the .NET Compact Framework. This is all powered by an 800mhz Crusoe processor with 1GB of total system storage."

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Blue Sky of Death? (4, Funny)

philbowman (707419) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898397)

Duck!

Re:Blue Sky of Death? (0, Troll)

Prod_Deity (686460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898523)

This isn't flamebait! Even if XP is stable, there are still odds of it BSOD'ing, although the odds are alot less than 9x.

Re:Blue Sky of Death? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898538)

Interesting how this gets modded as -1 Flamebait when a subsequent comment [slashdot.org] that says the exact same thing gets modded up to +4 funny.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898398)

fantastic penis !

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898453)

How can a post that is already -1 be modded firther down ?
Fuck Off And Die, michael !
you are abusing your übermod privileges as well as insulting /.ers intelligence, moron !

Brings new meaning.... (5, Funny)

tdemark (512406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898400)

...to the term "crash"

Re:Brings new meaning.... (0)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898550)

Or... drag and drop out of the sky?

To the phrase: Against Us +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898572)


More wisdom from our "President" George W. Bush [whitehouse.org] :

Courrtesy of the BBC News [bbc.co.uk]

>>"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful - and so >>are we," the US president told a high-level meeting of >>Pentagon officials.

>>"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our >>country and our people - and neither do we."

>>His comments came during a signing ceremony for a >>$417bn defence bill.

Patriotically as always,
Kilgore Trout

Ugh. (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898401)

I fear the onslaught of 1001 jokes about this plane crashing.

Re:Ugh. (2, Funny)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898448)

Too late... 4 of the 7 first posts imply crashing :-P

Re:Ugh. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898603)

Actually, the better joke is 1GB of storage for an embedded system. Throw in an 800MHz processor to run .NET on a system that doesn't need it and you have a real sitcom happening.

crash? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898402)

fellow slashdotters, prepare for an onslaught of "now windows can cause real crashes" posts.

That's great... (0, Flamebait)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898404)

...but can it run Linux?

Now... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898405)

Windows crashing jokes start!

(FP, hopefully)

System crash... (-1, Redundant)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898407)

Brings a whole new meaning to "System crash"...

Re:System crash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898431)

That was very original and fresh humor... thanks.

XP? (0, Redundant)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898408)

XP embedded, but the software is written in C# on the .NET Compact Framework.

The Blue Sky of Death!

But really, this is very cool. UAV's are neat, and this is a cool use of mostly off-the shelf tech.

you knew it was coming (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898410)

Brings new meaning to the term 'blue screen of death'..

next step (-1, Offtopic)

Ossadagowah (452169) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898412)

Framing Solid Snake for the destruction of
the USS Discovery and the theft of
Metal Gear Ray.

here we go (2, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898413)

<Insert jokes about UAV flying into building during garbage collection here>

Not only does the plane run XP embedded, but ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898416)

Not only does the plane run XP embedded, but...

Oh great. Another air-to-ground threat.

No crashing jokes (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898418)

Don't start with the crashing jokes :)

Where can I get one? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898430)

I've been looking for a prototype UAV for some time, as I believe I have a unique and revolutionary use for them (if they scale up in size well enough).

Does anyone know where I can buy one.

Love,
Your pal,
Usama Bin Laden

Re:Where can I get one? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898466)

It's Osama you idiot

Re:Where can I get one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898589)

Tell that to the FBI [fbi.gov] , asshat.

I Predict (1)

dupper (470576) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898438)

70% of the up-modded comments will be people who automatically equate 'UAV' with warplane.

Re:I Predict (2, Interesting)

philbowman (707419) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898511)

> 70% of the up-modded comments will be people who automatically equate 'UAV' with warplane.

My first post (yay! - now modded 0 - boo!) was only intended to emphasise what the linked site acknowledges:

"Safety - An autonomous flight control system inherently removes human operator intervention from vehicle functionality. The capability of an aircraft of considerable mass, traveling at high velocity, to inflict damage to people or property is substantial. It was critical that the flight control system would include several modes of flight termination in case of emergency or flight control system failure."

Sure, there are non-military uses for UAVs - crop dusting, fire fighting, ground mapping, etc, but I'd be interested to know what proportion of the devices currently out there are in fact military.

Re:I Predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898578)

They should upgrade ASAP to the embedded version of the Windows NT 6.0 "Skynet"
Oh wait... What's that sound outside my wind
NO CARRIER

Re:I Predict (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898598)

AFAIK, all of them. Developing UAVs costs a lot of money (the UAVs in use now typically cost $1M or more), and the military is currently just about the only party willing to throw money at this. The military have one big incentive that commercial users don't: military aircraft are likely to get shot at.
The only exception I know of is NASA, their huge flying wing is a step towards 'persistent' UAVs (that can loiter over an area for a long time, which is what you want for surveillance missions).

Kick back? (1, Interesting)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898441)

I wonder if they "picked" XP-Embedded because they were given a "grant" from Micosoft.

Re:Kick back? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898505)

Because of course that's the only reason they'd have chosen it...

Re:Kick back? (4, Insightful)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898526)

Nothing so "shady"...

Award of academic grant. [microsoft.com]

The article itsself states: Last year, the group won an Innovation Excellence Award from Microsoft Research to continue their previous work in designing an autopilot system for a large scale model aircraft. Schools around the globe received awards from the Microsoft Research University Relations program to enable them to conduct research in emerging technologies.

So they are up front about it - I personally think this is interesting - doesn't matter that they used XP-Embedded over another operating system - whatever gets the job done.

Re:Kick back? (5, Insightful)

CausticPuppy (82139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898527)

Why do most people here seem to concentrate not on the fact that something very cool was accomplished, but rather on the fact that it was accomplished using technology from a vendor they don't like?
</rhetorical>

How about commenting on the project itself rather than posing conspiracy theories? The article itself even mentions that the team had gotten previous awards from Microsoft.

Re:Kick back? (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898542)

Considering that XP costs money and researchers with an intention to go public don't use warez, Microsoft's involvement is a safe bet.

Re:Kick back? (0)

jmrobinson (660094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898560)

I'll have to give you a big -1, Duuuuuh on this one. Of course thats why they picked it! Of course, that's how MS got all its donated grant money back, by charging them $$$ for the OS!

Mayday! (-1, Redundant)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898442)

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Windows is not responding. We are going down!

Re:Mayday! (1)

nova20 (524082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898475)

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Windows is not responding. We are going down!

It seems the plane's resources are being used up by a program called... "sol.exe"????

-nova20

Is that a blue screen I see...? (1, Redundant)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898444)


Is that a blue screen I see,

or are you just planning to stall me?

-- MarkusQ

Stability? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898447)

I'd be interested to know how stable this thing is. Is there anyone here writing mission critical applications with .Net?

So in other words... (-1, Redundant)

Boinger69 (673392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898449)

This could be handled by a 486 running FreeBSD?

Re:So in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898514)

yes it could. in fact a 386 could do it. the data collection aspect would be harder. a smarter approach would have been 2 seperate systems. 1 navigation and the other for data collection. easily done with pc104 formfactor equipment.

hell and Embedded DOS could have done this. the hard part is landing and object recognition. that NEEDS a crapload of processing power and external sensors.

So when do we get... (0, Redundant)

cspenn (689387) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898451)

.... the Blue Skies of Death?

Re:So when do we get... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898508)

This is a repeat of the very first post in this article. If you think it's funny, mod that one up instead.

This puts a whole new meaning to the term crash. (-1, Redundant)

schroedinbug (207181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898455)

Now not only does windows crash your computer, it literally crashes whatever it is controlling.

Excuse me, but crash jokes aside... (0, Flamebait)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898456)

What has the operating system got to do with UAV? It's a bit of a risk using a proprietary OS you know nothing about, to run these devices. RealTime Linux incidentally, is used by Pratt & Whitney - they should know a thing or two about aircraft control.

-

Re:Excuse me, but crash jokes aside... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898507)

Actually, RT Linux is rarely used in control systems. Most of the newer systems I know run on either QNX or vxworks. Older systems usually run on VMS, of course.

Re:Excuse me, but crash jokes aside... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898516)

What has the operating system got to do with UAV?

It pays the bills [cuuav.org] .

(One might also ask, with all of those sponsors, what exactly was there left for them to do?)

1 GB? (1, Insightful)

nullset (39850) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898458)

"only" 1GB? that's hardly impressive. Try fitting that in a few kb of ROM, like a real product would be, and i'd be impressed....

seriously, this is nothing but a joke. avionics software does NOT use 1GB of storage, nor does it run a PC-oriented OS (be it XP or linux).

This is quite silly from an embedded point of view. I really hope they weren't hoping to impress embedded developers with those specs.

--buddy

Re:1 GB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898559)

maybe because this thing flies itself...and needs to analyze alot of data

Re:1 GB? (2, Insightful)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898575)

Embedded software may not typically use 1 GB of software. But I would not find it comforting to think that the full instruction set for an airplane was able to fit into 640 KB of ram.

Time to move forward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898592)

Your rant sounds like the old "will never need more than 640k" line of years ago.

The limitations are not really applicable today. Increasing the amount of space will open up some interesting opportunities.

Too many in the embedded community act as if their view is the only view permitted and all others are idiots.

Re:Time to move forward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898614)

only a complete idiot says that.

fools and no talent hacks think the way you do. pro's and experts try to make it fit in as little space as possible with the best performance possible.

if you dont think that way then you are a poser.

Re:1 GB? (1)

jlink7 (802246) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898609)

Are you part of the avionics business? While I don't program flight computers, I seriously doubt that all of the functions that are now controlled by the multiple computers on a modern day jet can be fit on "a few KB of ROM." Perhaps mission critical application such as fuel management and the fly-by-wire mechanisms. We ARE talking about flight here, modern day jets (and perhaps even UAVs) fly on the brink of instability, which requires powerful computers, and therefore, I assume, a bit of powerful software behind it to fly... unfortunately, a "few" KB of ROM is not enough to manage this in modern aircraft.

Instead of the usual... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898459)

Instead of the usual set of jokes about blue screens of death from the blue skies, etc., can we get someone who knows about embedded XP systems to comment? How robust can this system be? Also, given that you can limit the number of inputs (e.g., the plane won't be browsing the web), can the limited number of apps it has to run help with stability, which tends to be an issue in desktop XP with many apps open?

Did they read the eula? (3, Informative)

dpeltzm1 (706854) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898461)

Haven't seen the EULA for XP embedded but the consumer one says do not use for 'mission critical' applications. somehow an airplane seems kinda critical? sounds more like VxWorks or QNX would be appropriate.

mod parent down (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898590)

Haven't seen the EULA for XP embedded but the consumer one says do not use for 'mission critical' applications.

The EULA for XP Embedded says nothing of the sort.

Unknown Error (3, Funny)

Obiwan Kenobi (32807) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898462)

"Hello, this is your pilot software speaking. We've encountered an unknown error as a result from an unknown error.

Please click OK to crash."

Re:Unknown Error (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898562)

"Hello, this is your pilot software speaking. We've encountered an unknown error as a result from an unknown error."

"Please close all windows, restart and everything will be fine."

Wow (4, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898463)

11 out of 14 posts so far have been modded down as Flamebait, Troll, Redundant, or Off Topic. Is this usual? In any case, how long until these little plains are fitted with a collision detection and avoidance system? Flying based on checkpoints is all fine and well if you're the only one in the sky, but othrewise its equivalent to a blind person without a dog or a cane walking down a street he knows very well.

Re:Wow (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898530)

Well, a "a collision detection and avoidance system" that doesn't rely on ATC needs sensors (3-D radar, or IR plus laser) that are big and expensive. Typically, these aren't even used on $100M airliners, much less uni research projects.

Wow Uni students can load Windows! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898464)

Maybe in 20 years time they can get their heads around installing Linux. :P

Just want we need... (1)

TimTheFoolMan (656432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898467)

...more RC airplanes flying through our windows.

Tim

-1 for all (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898470)

Wow. This will be the first slashdot topic where every single post gets modded to -1.

Re:-1 for all (0)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898532)

No, just wait for the posts lamenting microsoft bashing. Those will get +5, Insightful.

sex with a dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898473)

UAV (1)

indros (211103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898476)

Of course it's unmanned. Who in their right mind would want to fly on that!?

Yeah... new take on an old joke.

Big Surprise (1, Troll)

El Bromo (663141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898477)

Writing code for an autonomous UAV to do nothing more than take off, fly around a bit, and land isn't really that hard. Anyone who's ever worked any flight simulation could do it without much help. If these Cornell kids have the support of a gigantic corporation with much in-house expertise on flight simulation, it's no surprise that they were able to make a plane fly simple, planned flights. Good for them, I guess, but it's really not that big a deal. Somebody must be posting this just to get the obligatory shots at MS started.

Helicopters work better.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898481)

http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/AUVS/IARCLaunchPoint. html [gatech.edu]

"This year the best performances were executed by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona (first year in the Competition). The Georgia Institute of Technology's autonomous helicopter demonstrated "Level 2 behavior" (finding a particular building from among many and then identifying all of the real openings in the building through which they could send in a sensor probe) during a series of three flights comprising more than an hour of flawless fully autonomous operation-- they landed only twice, once to adjust a camera and once to top off their fuel tank."

Flamebait (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898482)

XP embedded, but the software is written in C# on the .NET Compact Framework.

On Slashdot, that's just asking for it... Can we mod an article as 'Flamebait?'

Why is this so exciting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898485)

You can buy something like this for a couple thousand bucks... http://www.rctoys.com/predator.php [rctoys.com]

Not new (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898486)

This guy [jhuapl.edu] beat them to it, sending an UAV over the Atlantic.

Blue Sky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898489)

Blue screens... smiling at me...

Nothing but blue screens... do I see.

Terrorists hijack plane... via email (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898493)

Teehee.

this brings new meaning to crash and burn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898495)

yeah, yeah, redundant schmudundant

And I'm supposed to be impressed? (0, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898499)

The large-scale model plane flies by accessing coordinates from an off-the-shelf GPS unit.' Not only does the plane run XP embedded, but the software is written in C# on the .NET Compact Framework.

Trust obviously Microsoft-sponsored engineers to find the wrong solution to the problem. Anything that flies benefits from light components. This "large-scale" model plane could have been smaller scale, cheaper, longer flying and, well, more impressive if it had taken onboard a small microcontroller with tailor-made programs.

Lugging around a system with an 800MHz Crusoe and 1G of storage just to accomodate megabytes of useless software (XP Embedded) is an expensive way of providing central heating to birds. This is not a rant against Microsoft and their "embedded" solution, more like a rant against overdesigning.

Microsoft research aides terrorist organizations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898504)


all off the shelf stuff huh ? now imagine if this device carried a payload

Re:Microsoft research aides terrorist organization (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898566)

all off the shelf stuff huh ? now imagine if this device carried a payload

Hello Sir. Yes you there, who just posted as AC. Look through the window: you see those 3 black vans with the engines running in the street? Ear the knock on your door? These are your new friends for the months to come...

-- Signed: John

Cruise missile (4, Funny)

panxerox (575545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898510)

And the difference between this and a cruise missile [bbc.co.uk] is what exactly?

Re:Cruise missile (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898587)

And the difference between this and a cruise missile is what exactly?

Cruise missiles cost billions in taxpayers money.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898512)

Yeah but does it run linux?

Oh wait... /me ducks

Trans Atlantic Model (5, Insightful)

naznerd (227480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898520)

Small GPS controlled planes are old news. Check out the TAM project. Trans Atlantic Model. They flew a model plane across the Atlantic Ocean last year. Check it out here -> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3145577.stm [bbc.co.uk]

CUUAV (5, Informative)

UMhydrogen (761047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898521)

One of my friends is one of the leads on the project for Cornell University. He was the one who designed the site and a bunch of other things on the plane.

Yes, they were given grant money from Microsoft, but that wasn't the only influence in their decisions. They've put long hard hours into the plane. XP Embedded does allow them to add functionality to the plane. A lot of companies have given then grants and sponsorships that have allowed them to build the plane. Don't forget this is Cornell here and they're not going to just rely on Microsoft to make the plane run. They also weren't attempting to make a "real" plane - this is still an UAV which isn't meant to have the power of a full aeronautical vehicle.

Unfortionatly one of their planes was destroyed in a fire at a hotel in Maryland while they went down to show off the plane. Luckily, their backup plane that is still being built was not destroyed.

Re:CUUAV (-1, Flamebait)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898574)

destroyed in a fire caused by the friction between the actual airplane, and the mental image of everyone that "no way is .NET flying an airplane". The plane burst into flames from a unilateral brain wave paradox. We all thought it out of existence!

Why the overhead of .NET? (2, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898522)

Obviously the Microsoft Research link gives away the "why", but I really want to know why the overhead of .NET? Why not just compile it to "real" C++, build some machine code, and stick it on a chip? Doesn't that make more sense than .NET? Plus, I'd like to toss in my $.02 that 1GB is totally insane for an embedded system. The space shuttle doesn't need that much for its automated stuff.

Don't worry...... its been tested (warning! troll) (0, Troll)

ZosX (517789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898533)

To test their flight control algorithms, the group used Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, running the algorithms for hundreds of hours. They used a SIG Rascal aircraft with a 110" wingspan. The aircraft is 75 ¾" long and weighs thirteen pounds.

Yeah, but how does that test much of anything? I mean, I'm sure they can get these planes to fly a loop or something, but how reliably. Could they do this for hundreds of hours in flight? What happens when the host OS crashes? The control system is not redundant, creating a single point of failure asides from the the engine. Its not like you can just flash the thing while it is in the air, ala Mars Odyssee. I know its just a college project, and some really bright students are behind this, but this just sounds more like a M$ Publicity stunt than anything. I'm sure without corporate funding they wouldn't have chosen XP and .NET first.

Its cool technology, but I don't think that we'll see these things become popular running on XP embedded. Could you imagine a car running on something like this?

Well, I wish them luck!

zosX

I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898537)

I hope it doesn't crash. (pun intended)

redundant, I know.... (1)

YanceyAI (192279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898554)

Imagine it with passengers...."This is your pilot software speaking, please assume the appropriate position for a reboot."

Black box (1)

EduardoFonseca (703176) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898556)

One compact flash card holds the operating system in a protected write mode, while the other stores a real-time flight log - a 'black box' that can be examined to diagnose problems, even if the vehicle crashes.

This would be very useful to thousands of Windows users world-wide :-D

But the question is: (1)

Xshare (762241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898561)

Can it go through a stargate and feed back the information through an open wormhole?

Great for terrorists! (-1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898564)

They actually WANT their planes to crash.

Yeah, I know. Tasteless. Deal with it, my poppets.

Predator? (1)

Honken (665599) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898576)

You could always buy a Predator http://www.rctoys.com/predator.php [rctoys.com] and equip it with a GPS powered autopilot. Built-in wireless video camera and 1.5 hours of flight on one battery, yay!

Center of gravity vs. lift (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898582)

From the story:

The students modified the vehicle for unmanned flight by replacing the factory tail with a custom lifting tail, which moved the center of gravity further towards the rear of the plane.

Doesn't adding lift to the rear of an aircraft move the center of lift, which is different from the center of gravity ???

Also from the the story:

... the wings on the airframe had a heavier than designed for load.

Understand, I am not.

Scarry (1)

FJ (18034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898583)

We can't completely automate air traffic control systems. We can't even upgrade air traffic control systems made decades ago because of the fear of software bugs.

So let's try to make plan that can fly by itself.

No thanks. I like my pilots well trained, well paid, happy & human.

"Embedded" in the ground like a lawn dart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9898594)

I GB total system storage? Is there anything available after the .net libraries.

Seriously,this is impressive,to navigate a vehicle that moves pretty fast in relation to the processing of GPS information. My experience of GPS onboard mapping systems (albeit a few years ago) the GPS data essentially told you where you were, not where you are or where you are going. They must have refined the processing of data, or done some sort of extrapolation for the plane to make accurate adjustments to maintain direction, trim and prevent stalling.

Beyond academic exercise, why? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898596)

Beyond academic exercise, what is the purpose of such a vehicle? Military, and they already have one of these. To me, this is like the nut in New Zealand who builds cruise missiles for fun and games. Sure there are lots of "wild" ideas, but in reality, most of these problems have been solved by existing technology (which in fact this is).

Interesting (1)

CBob (722532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898607)

Considering the way UAV's usually end up with hard points that are occupied with interesting things, I wonder if wireless is enabled.

There's other ways to do it, but you run where the $$ tells you to on projects like this.

BSOD (1)

first.last (751698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898608)

So now its "Blue Sky Of Death"?

Make way... (3, Funny)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9898612)

for the first airborne trojan horse !

Now all it needs is WiFi, and it can mass infect :-)
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