MIT Robot Helicopter Does Split-S

Posted 11 Oct 2002 at 19:30 UTC by steve Share This

According to a press release from MIT, the MIT Autonomous X-Cell 60 Helicopter has completed a Split-S. MIT professor Eric Feron claims this is the most "complex maneuver ever completed automatically by any helicopter". In February, covered the MIT helicopter's autonomous performance of a 360 degree aileron roll.

GPLed autopilot hovers on its own, too!, posted 11 Oct 2002 at 20:59 UTC by hudson » (Master)

The MIT project is quite impressive, although the maneuvers are being run "open loop" from recordings of the manual pilot, rather than under complete control of the flight control software.

In related news, my own autopilot project has successfully hovered under computer control. The inertial measurement unit (IMU) produced body frame roll rates and accelerations to the AHRS (Attitude / Heading reference system) software running on a Linux iPAQ. This attitude estimate was fed into a PID controller that produced servo commands to maintain the commanded attitude.

It all worked really well; we have videos of the helicopter hovering on its own. Of course, the flight controller source code, AHRS and realtime software is all online.

Autopilot vs. MIT, posted 11 Oct 2002 at 21:23 UTC by steve » (Master)

I'd like to see a comparison of costs between the two projects. You guys are probably working on a fraction of the budget MIT has got and your results are looking just as promising. I believe MIT's helicopter is being funded by NASA, the Navy, and some other organizations...

Props, posted 13 Oct 2002 at 11:24 UTC by ROB.T. » (Master)

Hudson - your aerobot is sweet.

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