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Learn to Fly Sikorsky's New Helicopter in Just 45 Minutes


In this Sikorsky helicopter, the human gives orders and the computer executes them.

A Sikorsky helicopter controlled via a handheld tablet enables pilots to direct the aircraft using gestures and movements, as if they are playing a video game or steering a drone.

Credit: DARPA

A Sikorsky helicopter controlled by a handheld tablet enables pilots to direct the aircraft using gestures and movements, as if they are playing a video game or steering a drone.

Learning the helicopter's simple Matrix Technology controls can take as little as 45 minutes.

The system was developed under the U.S. Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program.

Using the Matrix system, a human onboard the helilcopter (or operating remotely) controls the aircraft's flight with a tablet and two joystick-like controllers called interceptors.

The new system "allows the onboard crew members to rapidly communicate their intent to the autonomy system, which kind of becomes like a copilot," said Sikorsky's Igor Cherepinsky.

In the context of military missions, said DARPA's Graham Drozeski, "Really, we want the pilot's eyes and mind on the fight rather than holding an altitude."

From Wired
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