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The Military Robotics United States Hardware Technology

A Drone Helicopter That Can Land On a Moving Truck 60

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-for-the-next-terminator-movie dept.
garymortimer writes with a story (the accompanying video is worth watching) of an unmanned helicopter than can automatically land on a moving surface. Though it's shown landing on a bed of a moving truck, the real purpose is for sea-based use: "This automatic system for take-off, landing and deck-landing of UAVs is the fruit of the joint expertise of Thales and DCNS. Thales is responsible for the positioning system and its interface with the UAV system, the supply of a UAV demonstrator system and slaving of the flight path along a trajectory. DCNS is responsible for predicting the vessel motions, the harpoon system as well as the interface and integration with the vessel."
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A Drone Helicopter That Can Land On a Moving Truck

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    welcome our new Drone overlords!

    • by loustic (1577303)
      The best is that you can control the Little Bird from the Apache. Add an other aicraft and the path is for Endless Possibilities is open !
  • perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @06:51AM (#38122650)

    http://xkcd.com/652/

    "We live in a world where there are actual fleets of robot assassins patrolling the skies. At some point there, we left the present and entered the future."

  • More war (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Monday November 21, 2011 @06:55AM (#38122678) Homepage Journal

    So I watched that video [youtube.com], what can I say, I liked that trailer.

    This video explains about the robot helicopter [youtube.com] and what it's really for in the first 22 seconds.

    At 1:20 they explain that this helicopter started as a commercial aircraft, but later was adopted for 'special operations'.

    As I said, it's a war based economy/ [slashdot.org]

    This is again, Boeing. Biggest bombs [slashdot.org] and robot killer helicopters.

    Great economy you are having there. Glad to see you care about your environment and air and all that 'welfare'. Too bad the outcome of all this wonderful 'care' is a war economy. But ask yourselves this: once they have enough robots to kill people all around the world, why do they need you at all? You don't produce anything else and all the weapons they need they will have automated. I guess your purpose is to burn oil and their's is to make sure they get more power and weapons so you can burn more oil.

    • by Muad'Dave (255648)

      At 1:20 they explain that this helicopter started as a commercial aircraft, but later was adopted for 'special operations'.

      When I saw "harpoon system" mentioned in the summary my first thought was Japanese whaling. I could see these used as automated hunter/killer craft for the Japanese "research" whaling fleet. I doubt that's the special op you're talking about. :-)

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      why do they need you at all?

      I'm pretty sure that whichever hellhole you happen to be from, your government wants to buy some of these UAVs from us. And if not your government, then your bankers want some for crowd control.

    • Too bad the outcome of all this wonderful 'care' is a war economy.

      Well, of course it is - we're talking about a governmental system based on a monopoly on violence. So, shocker, they focus on being the best at violence.

      That's why these people jumping up and down to start an armed revolution are barking up the wrong tree. Who says, "if only Martin Luther King had gouged a few peoples' eyes out, he would have done better"?

      Here's a private UAV used for intelligence [youtube.com] against the violence types. Much more effe

    • Great economy you are having there. Glad to see you care about your environment and air and all that 'welfare'. Too bad the outcome of all this wonderful 'care' is a war economy. But ask yourselves this: once they have enough robots to kill people all around the world, why do they need you at all? You don't produce anything else and all the weapons they need they will have automated. I guess your purpose is to burn oil and their's is to make sure they get more power and weapons so you can burn more oil.

      "You don't know what it's like to really create something; to create a life; to feel it growing inside you."

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        A war economy is different from a normal economy where weapons are just small part of it, so you can't peg this Terminator bullshit on me.

  • So what... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @07:15AM (#38122762)

    We at Higheye b.v. did the exact same thing with DCNS years ago..
    at sea...
    on a moving barge...
    and our HE80 VTOL UAV.

    The test was largely successful even under rougher than expected sea, yes this was in international water by the coast of France.
    If you are looking for the website we are dutch.

    EJ Goeree
    Former Chief Engineer
    Higheye b.v.

  • Impressive but still by far not as good as an experienced human pilot.

    • Re:Impressive (Score:5, Informative)

      by 1s44c (552956) on Monday November 21, 2011 @07:27AM (#38122804)

      Impressive but still by far not as good as an experienced human pilot.

      Humans have annoying requirements like food, water, and sleep. You can't build experienced human pilots in a factory. Machines are easiler to replace and don't mind if you send them on suicide missions.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You also forget experience, those minor incremental improvements. In humans a trainer passes only a very small percentage of that knowledge to a trainee, but with machines, it's as simple as "version += 1"
        And unlike humans, while you may have a few pilots, maybe hundreds in a very large airforce, getting there takes a lot of time. Replacing even one of those people is expensive and time consuming compared to installing some software.

        Ships, planes, cars, tanks were initially built for their user, the human p

    • why do you say that? What makes it "not as good"?

      • Difficult to describe. There seems to be some lag when it tries to interpolate the future position of the moving truck, or something like that, at 0:35 in the first video. The heli is floating too long above the target and backwards relative to it. A good pilot (trained in doing this) will match the speed before reaching the target and then land "less tentatively" on the spot, like you would land on the ground. To be fair, I was assuming that the truck kept very constant speed, though. If it has changed spe

    • Yeah, pilots are already capable of landing on moving surfaces, considering that's what the earth is ;-)

  • by JustOK (667959)

    Landing a truck on helicopter would be more impressive

  • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Monday November 21, 2011 @07:34AM (#38122822)
    I wonder how well this the system deals with a ships movement at sea. I don't know how much an aircraft carrier pitches and rolls. But having looked at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPqXlqam2Z8 [youtube.com] a Supertanker in a storm. The hugest biggest boats get smashed about at sea. Not saying you'd fly in weather like that. I'm just wondering at what point the system can't cope as they can't simulate that movement with a truck.
    • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday November 21, 2011 @07:46AM (#38122870) Homepage Journal

      The article says they will test with a frigate. That means lots of movement - they are much, much smaller than a CV. But I don't doubt it is doable. They just need to get in close enough to get hooked into the winch that can take it in and hold it down.

      • +1 Thanks for that, didn't know about hooking it with a winch.
        • Here's a short description [helicoptersmagazine.com] of how the Canadians do it. I worked on a CVN myself, so I've never been personally involved in recovering helos on a small deck. I did spend a couple weeks on an FFG and looked over the equipment but we never used it while I was aboard.

    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Ship based automated (hands-off) landings have been done since the late 50s on US Navy carriers with fixed wing aircraft. Ship based UAV helicopters have been deployed for the last year or two (MQ-8 Firescout on Frigate class ships). Ship motion is pretty well understood, as is ship motion compensation.
  • by pease1 (134187) <bbunge@ladyandt[ ]p.com ['ram' in gap]> on Monday November 21, 2011 @07:47AM (#38122892)
    Now show this with the truck moving vertically 6-10 feet every few seconds, with 15-30 knot winds that change 10-30 degrees every minute, and hundreds/thousands of pounds of sea spray hitting the side of the helo. Was in a bird that landed in these conditions. Another time, we aborted in worse conditions and had to find a bigger deck.
  • I mean really, where else in the world do they use moving trucks as frequently as they're used in the US? With as often as we buy (or, now, get kicked out of) houses, I bet we have three or four times as many moving trucks per capita as anywhere else. And now there's a DRONE specifically DESIGNED to land on them!

    Wake up sheeple its 1984!!

  • They build tubes. Pitot tubes. Pitot tubes for Airbus.

  • Just wondering, what is the noise level of this craft projected at approx 300 yards. For about a year when I would come home from work (late evening) there would be a craft (couldn't hear any noise from it) that would hover above a field (100ft) near my house that had one light on it. After some time of seeing this thing over and over again I got tired of just accepting it and decided to play with it (I was starting to think I was crazy). So I stopped on the road one night and just waited; after sitting the
    • by Forbman (794277)

      could have been someone (some local cop jurisdiction?) was using a MD500 with NOTAR. Those helicopters are VERY quiet.

    • Noise is strongly dependent on the flight condition of the helicopter and the orientation of the helicopter with respect to the observers; there's no simple answer for noise levels at some fixed distance, unfortunately. UAV are generally quieter because they're smaller and lighter and because the smaller rotor needs to operate at a higher RPM and hence higher blade passing frequency; this drives the frequencies of noise up where they are more readily absorbed by the atmosphere (albeit, they are also more a

  • While impressive, this is not as ground-breaking as the article suggests. Fire Scout is already deployed by the US Navy and is capable of fully autonomous landings to a moving ship at sea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxl-ko7Vd64 [youtube.com]

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