By Mike Deliman
A few months ago at the Robotics Virtual Trade Show, in my presentation I spoke about the evolution of robotic systems. One thing I predicted was as time goes on, robots will become more independent and autonomous, performing more of the work humans and mainframe-style systems have traditionally performed.
Among the robots I talked about were robots similar to NASA's
Stardust Spacecraft Stardust is currently on course for a Valentine's Day rendezvous with Comet Temple-1. Stardust includes a package that performs autonomous navigation, d to help keep the craft on it's flight path with reduced intrusion from ground-based systems. Since Stardust is so far out from earth, there is significant delay in round-trip communications. Stardust is able to detect problems in trajectory and perform course correction maneuvers on its own.
Last week, Northrop Grumman had first-flight for an evolution in Un-maned Aerial Vehicles. The
X47B UCAS is an autonomous unmanned flight system. It is not a wireless-joystick system. It flies itself, taking off, figuring a course to it's way points, landing. Without human intervention.