LOW-FLYING air vehicles



Operating an aircraft near the ground is dangerous work.  Low-altitude missions include Casualty Extraction, Cargo Resupply, Transport, and Reconnaissance. From manned helicopters to smaller backpackable UAS systems, low-flying vehicles are in constant danger of colliding with the terrain and obstacles such as wires and buildings.  Many missions also require landing in unimproved unstructured terrain.  Fieldable UAS solutions of the future will require the ability to perceive and understand the environment around them to reliably complete low-altitude tasks.

We leverage perception technology originally developed for ground-based robot vehicles during 20 years of research at the Field Robotics Center.  We combine this proven perception and control technology with aircraft-centric engineering and optimization. 

We have demonstrated ground-breaking intelligent flying systems on three scales: Micro Air Vehicles (<1.0 meter), Utility UAV (1.0 to 5.0 meter), and Full-Scale Aircraft (>5.0 meters).

smart helicopters at the

carnegie MELLON field robotics center