Autonomous Plane Avoids Obstacles

While it’s true that autonomous flight vehicles have existed for a while, allowing helicopters and the like to fly, avoid obstacles, and land effectively. But this is the first time that a plane has been made so efficiently.

Helicopters and other rotor-based aircraft are unique in that they have more control over planes, which mostly aim at moving quickly forwards and cannot freely move in all directions. However, this autonomous plane that MIT built is able to accurately avoid obstacles without a GPS using flight algorithms. These tell the plane it’s location, orientation, velocity, and acceleration. To test the plane, it was flown indoors at 22 mph for seven minutes, avoiding obstacles by mere inches and traveling roughly three miles in distance.

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