Should we be a little scared that this helicopter can take off, fly around, avoid obstacles and return home all without a preprogrammed flight path? Is Skynet upon us?
Currently the Unmanned Little Bird, as it’s known, is in trials and is overseen by the Army funded research team at Carnegie Melon and Piasecki Aircraft Corp. It’s the same tech that was used in some of those Darpa trials – you know, the ones where the car had to navigate a course sans driver.
The idea is that these helicopters could one day swoop in to combat zones that are under heavy fire and rescue wounded soldiers. I’m also confident that they’ll be used to perform attacks, hence my reference to Skynet.
The Copter uses a LIDAR laser system that maps its surrounding. The computer then creates a virtual 3D map and uses that info to determine where to fly, or in this case not fly, such as through towers, buildings and other obstacles.
What do you think: scary or cool?