HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Video: Power Line Perching UAV Doubles Down on Drone Delivery

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Autopilot
Elizabeth M   7/21/2014 4:50:09 AM
NO RATINGS
You raise a really good point, tekochip, about the effect of automation on actual piloting and driving skills. There are experts working to find a balance between these two things.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Autopilot
tekochip   7/17/2014 9:42:11 AM
NO RATINGS
There have been piloting errors caused by humans and caused by machines.  The latest series of air disasters have been caused by a combination of both, and the same theme has been repeated for decades.  Machines can't handle system exceptions well, and pilots are beginning to crash because of their over-reliance on automation.  In the case of Air France 447; I can't imagine the pilot pulling back on the yoke in a full power on stall, all the way to the ocean below in a scenario nearly identical to the 1996 Berginair 301 crash.  
 
Automation is a powerful tool, but it can't get the job done alone, and over-reliance on the systems has caused basic piloting skills to erode to the point of disaster.


Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
Elizabeth M   7/17/2014 5:50:12 AM
NO RATINGS
You pose some interesting ideas and scenarios, William K. I guess the case can be made for either humans or computers being the best at the wheel depending on the scenario. There are definitely some cases in which I hope someone who has the ability to make snap judgments and decisions is controlling a car or airplane, but other times when human error would make a situation worse, so I think automation might be better. You might want to research the work of Missy Cummings, formerly of MIT and now at Duke University. She is doing a lot of research in this area.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
William K.   7/16/2014 8:53:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Probably a computer system can be made to duplicate instincts, and possibly even to select a response based on a situation's context, but the computer system will never be able to make a correct decision in an exception situation. It may work as well as an inexperienced person but never as well as an individual running on experience and instincts. The flying environment is a bit safer than on the crowded roadways, just because there is a lot more room to move, and fewer fixed obstructions above the lower altitudes.

But in motor vehicles we will always have a portion of drivers who never make the best choice, and that will always be a challenge. Even worse if those are the folks who create the vehicle driveing algorithms. 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
Elizabeth M   7/15/2014 7:02:45 AM
NO RATINGS
You make some very good points, William K. It's true in some situations, it takes a human at the wheel to make the swift decision and adapt to conditions. I know systems are being developed to be as intelligent, but I'm not sure the tech is there just yet.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
William K.   7/10/2014 10:10:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, it has been my experience that computerized things are unable to handle exceptions. But because I am not a pilot I don't know how much taking advantage of those updrafts depends on "feel". I know how to drift a fast car through a curve by feel, and it is not clear to me that any computer could ever do that. But possibly they can. 

You are right about some drone pilots, but I was talking about autonomus flight conditions. Quite different when it is a computer driving.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
Elizabeth M   7/10/2014 9:12:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, there are definitely challenges to this technology and the way it works, as you and others are pointing out, William K. The only thing I might disagree on is how skillful computer pilots can be. I think drones are highly sophisticated these days. In fact, one very esteemed engineer of them, Missy Cummings of Duke University (formerly of MIT), thinks they are safer and better than human pilots. So I wouldn't count them out of being able to use the wind as human pilots could.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Power Line Perch
Elizabeth M   7/10/2014 8:49:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes,  PaPaMuski, that is often an issue that comes up when people want to harvest energy from power lines and the like. These are questions that need to be answered down the road as this technology evolves. But you're right, it's exciting to look at from a design and engineering perspective.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Power Line Perch
Elizabeth M   7/10/2014 8:49:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes,  PaPaMuski, that is often an issue that comes up when people want to harvest energy from power lines and the like. These are questions that need to be answered down the road as this technology evolves. But you're right, it's exciting to look at from a design and engineering perspective.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good Idea using carbon fiber?
William K.   7/9/2014 10:21:50 PM
NO RATINGS
I can just imagine the exciting flash when that UAV lands on a 14.8 Kv power line the wrong way.

Besides that, and even a greater barrier to this idea, is tha fact that landing on a power line and getting power from it would certainly be classed as theft, unless there was some sort of agreement in place. And it would make lots more sense to have dedicated recharging perches up on some utility poles.

One other thing is that benefitting from the wind is a skill that some pilots have and probably not something that a computer flying a programed route could do.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
A soundproofing invention called Acoustiblok recently won a television challenge to silence an air horn with only a fraction of an inch of polymer material.
Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors.
Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Here’s a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
A scientist at the University of Pittsburgh has achieved a breakthrough in the quest to create artificial cartilage with human cells for treatment of degenerative joint disease.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 21 - 25, Design Products With Bluetooth Low Energy
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service