Why Would Robotic Aircraft Be Controlled by Human Hand Gestures? (Video)

robot drone hand signals

Perhaps I'm missing something, it happens some times.

A recent article by Mark Brown on the Wired UK website presents the research being pursued by Yale Song and others at MIT exploring the potential to use hand gestures and body positions in a real time aircraft carrier environment to direct unmanned planes on the flight deck.

Their approach, which in some ways is similar to Microsoft's Kinect system, captures and analyzes the deck crew's body and hand motions extremely rapidly and with a high degree of accuracy in order to generate commands that the robotic drone aircraft can understand and respond to.

So, what's my problem - what am I missing?

Just that it seems really odd that the highly sophisticated, and extremely expensive, military drone aircraft that are rapidly replacing their human piloted counterparts, can fly hundreds, if not thousands of miles, and complete their missions with an extreme degree of accuracy, will need to be shepherded around the flight deck by mere humans once they return home to their assigned carrier.

If we can replace the onboard pilot, why would we need a yellow jacketed, flashlight wielding human to play traffic cop?

Perhaps this is envisioned as a temporary, stop-gap solution. It's hard to tell. But, at the rate that the military, at least the US military, is adopting and implementing advanced drones. it won't be long before the need for humans in the air, and on the flight deck, will be a distant memory of the past.

Via: Robotic Aircraft Controlled by Human Hand Gestures | Wired Science | Wired.com


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