Military Robotics

1st Autonomous Airborne Robot Refueling

Posted 27 Sep 2006 at 22:36 UTC by steve Share This

Earlier this month a joint DARPA/NASA project successfully demonstrated the first ever autonomous inflight refueling (PDF format). A modified NASA F/A-18 operating as an unmannned robot plane refueled from a conventional 707-300 tanker aircraft. The tanker needed only a small piece of additional equipment to assist the UAV with relative navigation. The F/A-18 UAV had pilots aboard in case of emergency but they was not needed (the DARPA photo shows both pilots holding their hands up during the refueling). The goal is for miltary UAVs to "locate tankers, form up, accept clearances, refuel, and disengage without any human intervention". The ability to refuel will be critical if UAVs are to be used for unmanned strike operations.

Quite an Achievement., posted 28 Sep 2006 at 10:22 UTC by marev » (Observer)

Another great achievement for the military,removing countless hours of re-fueling tasks through robotics then allowing the time of the air force/soldiers to be spent on even more accurate missions.

A taste of things to come, posted 28 Sep 2006 at 15:14 UTC by motters » (Master)

One day people will laugh at the idea that it was once necessary to get behind a steering wheel or joystick and manually fly planes or vehicles, how absurdly dangerous that was, and how they needed to get special insurance to drive around simply because human error was so common.

Robotic Roads and Skies,Yes., posted 28 Sep 2006 at 18:29 UTC by marev » (Observer)

Robotic electric powered broadband controlled speed zone restricted cars with gps and distance sonar should be the only cars on the road already i beleive,the technology is there.I just know it is not going to be long either.

Robotic Airways., posted 30 Sep 2006 at 12:07 UTC by marev » (Observer)

Over did the car bit then,it is all there though,these airplanes refueling could mean the main task of all air staff could just be focused on airline security and the planes safety for flight with everything else virtually taken care of by robot/machines.

Fuel and Burgers Robotic Car Delivery., posted 3 Oct 2006 at 12:46 UTC by marev » (Observer)

Maybe the same should be applied to car refueling,signal a petrol/electricity unit to re-fuel everyones cars?,not sure about that one really!,but it could also be applied to getting rid of all the highway/motorway garages/burger stops etc.,especially if your broadband sends for a food delivery while travelling?,hamburger through the sunroof?

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