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autonomous daredevil

An autonomous daredevil pushes the limits of flight


How do you test your mettle if you're a fighter pilot? You pull some gnarly acrobatics that push your hardware (and body) to the limit, such as the Matty flip or the power loop. Aerospace engineers have long relied on test pilots to push the limits of manned aircraft in order to learn crucial lessons about aerodynamics, thrust, and the complicated materials science behind modern planes. Drones, especially those designed for difficult environments or severe weather conditions, could benefit from the same kind of acrobatic proofing. To that end, researchers from the University of Zurich (part of the NCCR Robotics consortium) and Intel have developed a quadcopter that can perform incredible aerial acrobatics autonomously.