Robot pilots? It could happen sooner than you think


spaminator
#1
Robot pilots? It could happen sooner than you think
Joan Lowy, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 09:24 AM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 09:37 AM EDT
MANASSAS, Va. — From the outside, the single-engine Cessna Caravan that took off from a small airport here on Monday looked unremarkable. But inside the cockpit, in the right seat, a robot with spindly metal tubes and rods for arms and legs and a claw hand grasping the throttle, was doing the flying. In left seat, a human pilot tapped commands to his mute colleague using an electronic tablet.
The demonstration was part of a government and industry collaboration that is attempting to replace the second human pilot in two-person flight crews with robot co-pilots that never tire, get bored, feel stressed out or become distracted.
The program’s leaders even envision a day when planes and helicopters, large and small, will fly people and cargo without any human pilot on board. Personal robot planes may become a common mode of travel. Consider it the aviation equivalent of the self-driving car.
The program, known as Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System or ALIAS, is funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and run by Aurora Flight Sciences, a private contractor. With both the military and airlines struggling with shortages of trained pilots, defence officials say they see an advantage to reducing the number of pilots required to fly large planes or helicopters while at the same time making operations safer and more efficient by having a robot step in to pick up the mundane tasks of flying.
The idea is to have the robot augment the human pilot by taking over a lot of the workload, thus freeing the human pilot — especially in emergencies and demanding situations — to think strategically.
“It’s really about a spectrum of increasing autonomy and how humans and robots work together so that each can be doing the thing that its best at,” said John Langford, Aurora’s chairman and CEO.
Sophisticated computers flying planes aren’t new. In today’s airliners, the autopilot is on nearly the entire time the plane is in the air. Airline pilots do most of their flying for brief minutes during takeoffs and landings, and even those critical phases of flight could be handled by the autopilot.
But the ALIAS robot goes steps further. For example, an array of cameras allows the robot to see all the cockpit instruments and read the gauges. It can recognize whether switches are in the on or off position, and can flip them to the desired position. And it learns not only from its experience flying the plane, but also from the entire history of flight in that type of plane.
The robot “can do everything a human can do” except look out the window, Langford said. But give the program time and maybe the robot can be adapted to do that too, he said.
In other ways, the robot is better than the human pilot, reacting faster and with knowledge instantaneously available, able to call up every emergency checklist for a possible situation, officials said.
It some ways, it will be like flying with a “co-pilot genius,” Langford said. “The robot carries in them the DNA of every flight hour in that (aircraft) system, every accident,” he said. “It’s like having a human pilot with 600,000 hours of experience.”
The ALIAS robot is designed to be a “drop-in” technology, ready for use in any plane or helicopter, even 1950s vintage aircraft built before electronics.
But the robot faces a lot of hurdles before it’s ready to start replacing human pilots, not the least of which is that it would require a massive rewrite of Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations. Even small changes to FAA regulations often take years to make.
Elements of the ALIAS technology could be adopted within the next five years, officials said, much the way automakers are gradually adding automated safety features that are the building blocks of self-driving technology to cars today. Dan Patt, DARPA’s ALIAS program manager, said he thinks replacing human pilots with robots is still a couple of decades away, but Langford said he believes the transition will happen sooner than that.
Pilot unions, however, are skeptical that robots can replace humans in the cockpit. Keith Hagy, the Air Line Pilots Association’s director of engineering and safety, pointed to instances of multiple system failures during flights where only through the heroic efforts of pilots able to improvise were lives saved. In 2010, for example, an engine on a jumbo-sized Qantas airliner with 450 people on board blew up, firing shrapnel that damaged multiple other critical aircraft systems and the plane’s landing gear. The plane’s overloaded flight management system responded with a cascading series of emergency messages for which there was no time to respond. By chance, there were five experienced pilots on board — including three captains — who, working together, were able to land the plane. But it was a close call.
“Those are the kind of abnormal situations when you really need a pilot on board with that judgment and experience and to make decisions,” Hagy said. “A robot just isn’t going to have that kind of capability.”
David Strayer, a University of Utah professor of cognition and neural science who has studied the human-machine interface, agreed.
“Pilots are going to make mistakes, but a skilled human in that context, their expertise is quite amazing,” he said. “It’s a high bar for the robot to meet.”
Aurora Flight Sciences' Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automantion System (ALIAS), is mounted in the co-pilot seat of a Cessena Caravan aircraft at Manassas Airport in Manassas, Va., Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Robot pilots? It could happen sooner than you think | USA | Travel | Toronto Sun
 
gamerman
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

Robot pilots? It could happen sooner than you think
Joan Lowy, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 09:24 AM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 09:37 AM EDT
MANASSAS, Va. — From the outside, the single-engine Cessna Caravan that took off from a small airport here on Monday looked unremarkable. But inside the cockpit, in the right seat, a robot with spindly metal tubes and rods for arms and legs and a claw hand grasping the throttle, was doing the flying. In left seat, a human pilot tapped commands to his mute colleague using an electronic tablet.
The demonstration was part of a government and industry collaboration that is attempting to replace the second human pilot in two-person flight crews with robot co-pilots that never tire, get bored, feel stressed out or become distracted.
The program’s leaders even envision a day when planes and helicopters, large and small, will fly people and cargo without any human pilot on board. Personal robot planes may become a common mode of travel. Consider it the aviation equivalent of the self-driving car.
The program, known as Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System or ALIAS, is funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and run by...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Why do they need a robotic hand? why can't they automate it using software? I read about fuzzy logics used to run Autopilot

Like drones, These planes should need a provision for remote control to handle That "Abnormal" situations
 
Bar Sinister
#3
Given the fact that most of the mechanics of modern aircraft are already computer controlled that is not particularly surprising, especially following the deliberate flying of one aircraft into the Indian Ocean and another into the Alps.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#4  Top Rated Post
They did it 36 years back. . .


 
lone wolf
+1
#5
The R/C guys will tell you it's been out there for years

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvakoJ2zBwX1o

 
MHz
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by gamermanView Post

Why do they need a robotic hand? why can't they automate it using software? I read about fuzzy logics used to run Autopilot

Like drones, These planes should need a provision for remote control to handle That "Abnormal" situations

It would show that 9/11 was done using software alone.
 
taxslave
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

It would show that 9/11 was done using software alone.

But it wasn't so there goes your conspiracy theory.
 
MHz
#8
You forgot the link that proves that. This is a remote controlled 707 from 1984. (insert Orwellian twilight zone music) Anti-hijack methods include taking control of the aircraft by electronic means, please update your database as you are just embarrassing yourself with such posts.

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvG7lBeaceQKg

 
bobnoorduyn
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

It would show that 9/11 was done using software alone.


There is no technology or software installed on any commercial aircraft that will allow anyone to remotely override pilots' manual inputs. Airbus tried to design aircraft to limit pilot inputs that may exceed design limitations or otherwise prevent "pilot error", which has also lead to disastrous results. The main reason for all the technological advances in aviation is to allow for more aluminum to occupy a finite amount of airspace at a given time. The incidence of errors due to automation overload is a study all of its own with its own dedicated groups and analysts.


We are not talking about one or two dimensional movement, but three, (we haven't even nearly perfected two). I don't know who would feel comfortable travelling on an aircraft where there weren't two folks up front with a vested interest in the outcome of the flight. And just to let you know, Category III B approaches, where there is no decision altitude and the only limitation is a Runway Visual Range of approximately 600', depending on the airport, are flown and landed manually.
 
Danbones
#10
but the comptroller of the whitehouse (dov zakheim was it? from the same country as the dancing israelis...) when several trillion USD disappeared, ran a company that specialized in remote control air tankers...
he is so happy all those forensic scientists and investigative details got blown to teflawn at the pentagram that day
 
MHz
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduynView Post

There is no technology or software installed on any commercial aircraft that will allow anyone to remotely override pilots' manual inputs. Airbus tried to design aircraft to limit pilot inputs that may exceed design limitations or otherwise prevent "pilot error", which has also lead to disastrous results. The main reason for all the technological advances in aviation is to allow for more aluminum to occupy a finite amount of airspace at a given time. The incidence of errors due to automation overload is a study all of its own with its own dedicated groups and analysts.


We are not talking about one or two dimensional movement, but three, (we haven't even nearly perfected two). I don't know who would feel comfortable travelling on an aircraft where there weren't two folks up front with a vested interest in the outcome of the flight. And just to let you know, Category III B approaches, where there is no decision altitude and the only limitation is a Runway Visual Range of approximately 600', depending on the airport, are flown and landed manually.

If you are trying to prove how ill informed you are I'm more than willing to help you achieve that goal and the good news is it won't take very long.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing...ible_Autopilot (external - login to view)
The Boeing Uninterruptible Autopilot is a system designed to take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking (external - login to view).[1] (external - login to view) If implemented, the system would allow the craft to automatically guide itself to a landing at a designated airstrip (external - login to view).[2] (external - login to view) The "uninterruptible" autopilot would be activated either by pilots, by onboard sensors, or remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.[2] (external - login to view)
Both Boeing and Honeywell have contributed significantly to the introduction of digital autopilot technology into the civil aviation sector.[3] (external - login to view) A patent for the system was awarded to Boeing (external - login to view) in 2006.[4] (external - login to view) Honeywell has also been developing a system with Airbus, and a prototype has been tested on small aircraft.[5] (external - login to view)
In 2013, a 16-seater Jetstream airliner became the first passenger plane to fly unmanned across UK civilian airspace. However, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority says there is no remote control system currently available that could cope with navigating the country's crowded skies. According to a spokesman, "There are companies working on it, but the technology doesn't exist in a practical or usable form yet".[6] (external - login to view)

(external - login to view)

(external - login to view)
Here is something else for you to chew on.
How do you get an aluminum airplane to disappear into a steel building?
The orange spot in both hits on the two towers was not an explosion but steel heated to red hot and that extended to the tips of the wings and top of the tail where red hot was not needed but red hot was for the plane to home in on. It is already been shown that the 2nd plane was not a passenger jet but a military plane and if you reinforce it so it is at it's load limit and minimal amount of fuel so none splashes on the outside of the building but all the fire was caused from materials already in the tower. Military engines are more powerful and the stronger plane could then travel at 550MPH at sea level which a passenger jet cannot.
 
HeyBill
#12
Only a no-think group could market a spindly second pilot robot. I see that some of the comment is much more professional and rational thank goodness.
 
MHz
#13
Hopefully they will fly safer than they did on 9/11.
 
bobnoorduyn
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

If you are trying to prove how ill informed you are I'm more than willing to help you achieve that goal and the good news is it won't take very long.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing...ible_Autopilot
The Boeing Uninterruptible Autopilot is a system designed to take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking.[1] If implemented, the system would allow the craft to automatically guide itself to a landing at a designated airstrip.[2] The "uninterruptible" autopilot would be activated either by pilots, by onboard sensors, or remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.[2]
Both Boeing and Honeywell have...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post

Either you didn't read what I posted or did not read what you posted. Because it may have been installed on a Bae-31 it was not a commercial aircraft in the practical sense.

Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

If you are trying to prove how ill informed you are I'm more than willing to help you achieve that goal and the good news is it won't take very long.

Here is something else for you to chew on.
How do you get an aluminum airplane to disappear into a steel building?
The orange spot in both hits on the two towers was not an explosion but steel heated to red hot and that extended to the tips of the wings and top of the tail where red hot was not needed but red hot was for the plane to home in on. It is already been shown that the 2nd plane was not a passenger jet but a military plane and if you reinforce it so it is at it's load limit and minimal amount of fuel so none splashes on the outside of the building but all the fire was caused from materials already in the tower. Military engines are more powerful and the stronger plane could then travel at 550MPH at sea level which a passenger jet cannot.



First you get speed, and it will disappear into a steel building the same way it will into the ground or a mountain, there are aircraft out there that haven't been found yet. You do know that impact forces increase just less than 4X the increase in velocity. Aircraft do disintegrate, as well, if you have ever seen the remains of one that was consumed by fire you would know there is little left.


It doesn't matter if a 757 or 767 is built stronger or more powerful, it is still designed to fly at certain speeds. Above certain speeds shock waves are generated by the wing and stabilizer that can cause control difficulties.


Conspiracy theories still exist, but haven't been proven, nor will they likely be. There is just too much evidence to the contrary.
 

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