MIT Researchers Control Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Using an iPhone

The latest application of your iPhone can be as sophisticated as controlling the direction of an aeroplane by simply holding the phone and tilting it in any direction you want the plane to move in. That is not all. You can tap a spot on a map and the plane can fly to that point automatically.

Researchers at Boeing and MIT use smart phones to control miniature unmanned aerial vehicles in real time

Researchers at the Seattle research and development center in Boeing successfully controlled a tiny unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or rotocraft using a phone. Also, the vehicle they were controlling was about 2500 miles away in an athletic field in Cambrige’s MIT campus.

Mary “Missy” Cummings, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, said that the most important thing about the phone-based remote control of the flight is that it is quite easy for even a novice to fly a plane using this controller. Cummings had developed the control system with the help of her students.

The controller has a simple concept and after receiving some initial instructions, operators can right away take control of the plane. This can be compared to the control of UAVs by soldiers, who need to go through comprehensive training sessions, which often go on for several months.

Smart phones fly mini drones

Cummings is the director of MIT’s Humans and Automation Lab and her research programs concentrate on developing control systems which can be easily mastered and operated by people. She explained that the controller for smartphones developed by her with the help of the student team could be useful in controlling any kind of aircraft, which in practice, can also be applied to military drones and UAVs operated by emergency personnel. For instance, such controllers will be ideal for monitoring a forest fire in a remote location from a secure distance.

Source: http://web.mit.edu/

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