Aerial Robotics Hack Chat

Join us on Wednesday, June 8 at noon Pacific for the Aerial Robotics Hack Chat with Nick Rehm!

When it comes to robots, especially ones that need to achieve some degree of autonomy, the more constrained the environment they work in, the easier it is for them to deal with the world. An industrial arm tethered next to a production line, for example, only has to worry about positioning its tool within its work envelope. The problems mount up for something like an autonomous car, though, which needs to deal with the world in two — or perhaps two and a half — dimensions.

But what about adding a third dimension? That’s the realm that aerial robots have to live and work in, and it’s where the problems get really interesting. Not only are there hardly any constraints to movement, but you’ve also got to deal with the problems of aerodynamic forces, navigation in space, and control systems that need to respond to the slightest of perturbations without overcompensating.

join-hack-chatThe atmosphere is a tough place to make a living, and dealing with the problems of aerial robotics has kept Nick Rehm occupied for many years as a hobbyist, and more recently as an aerospace engineer at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Nick has spent his time away from the office solving the problems of autonomous flight, including detection and avoidance of mid-air collisions, development of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and fixed-wing aircraft, and even ground-effect aircraft. He’ll drop by the Hack Chat to discuss the problems of aerial robots and the challenges of unconventional aviation, and help us figure out how to deal with the third dimension.

Our Hack Chats are live community events in the Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, June 8 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have you tied up, we have a handy time zone converter.

2 thoughts on “Aerial Robotics Hack Chat

  1. I thought the great genius Musk, Time mag’s Man of the Year, would have perfected 3D functioning robots by now. Didn’t he claim several years ago that for something like $60 million he could encircle the Earth with asteroid deflecting robots? Obviously, another one of that turkey’s pipe dreams. Well, someone better get deadly serious about this. How many asteroid fly-bys have there been in just the last 15 years which came so close that governments suppressed the news until after the encounter? And Apophis is due to blow Earth a kiss from just 13K miles away in 2029. Tick….Tick….. Tick…..Tick

  2. Having worked on both autonomous aircraft and autonomous cars, I can say that aircraft autopilots are easier. Autonomous cars have to watch out for all sort of crazy on the roads: people, other cars, poorly marked lanes, construction zones. Autonomous aircraft can assume that the vast majority of their path is free of obstacles, and with three dimensions, they can more easily path around those they do encounter. It’s harder to build a vehicle that can fly than a vehicle that can drive, but the flying autopilot is easier.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.