Autonomy and Robotic Advancement

By Mike Deliman

Deliman_lg 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.

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