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The Military Technology

Army Tests Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A specially equipped Black Hawk was recently used to demonstrate the helicopter's ability to operate on its own. In the first such test of its type, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research's Development and Engineering Center, based at Redstone Arsenal, flew the Black Hawk over Diablo Mountain Range in San Jose, Calif. Pilots were aboard the aircraft for the tests, but all flight maneuvers were conducted autonomously: obstacle field navigation, safe landing area determination, terrain sensing, statistical processing, risk assessment, threat avoidance, trajectory generation and autonomous flight control were performed in real-time. 'This was the first time terrain-aware autonomy has been achieved on a Black Hawk,' said Lt. Col. Carl Ott, chief of the Flight Projects Office at AMRDEC's Aeroflightdynamics Directorate and one of the test's pilots."

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Army Tests Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter

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  • Skynet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:16PM (#42200039)

    Skynet. That is all.

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:22PM (#42200097)

    That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people. It's too bad the government does not share such reluctance.

    Strat

  • Re:Great! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BradleyUffner (103496) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:24PM (#42200107) Homepage

    That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people

    You mean other than the people that the downed chopper crashes on?

  • Re:Great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:38PM (#42200217)

    That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people

    You mean other than the people that the downed chopper crashes on?

    Oh, right. Better to let the chopper go ahead to it's heavily-populated target unmolested with that fuel-air bomb than risk the chopper crashing.

    My bad.

    Strat

  • Re:So? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:14PM (#42200485)

    My first thought is "So what?" Granted, pretty darn good for a first test. But these were very ideal looking conditions. Try it in real world conditions and then get back to me. Cloudy days, rain, fog, high winds, snow and ice, sandstorms...I'd bet any of those would throw this thing for a big loop.

    I can see you at Kitty Hawk. 'Pretty darn good for a first test Orville, but blah blah blah'.

  • Re:Skynet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:31PM (#42200595)
    I wonder if it will also see the same RPGs, weapons, and related items among a group of insurgents like that, right in the area where armed combat had been happening all day? Or are you wondering if the helicopter will autonomously edit video in order to make the military look bad? I wonder if the helicopter will somehow cause reporters to forget to tell the military where they are, and to hang out - without markings - with armed insurgents in a combat area? Autonomy is tricky! Just like autonomy among reporters who want to hang out with killer insurgents to get material they can sell for more money.
  • Re:Skynet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:43AM (#42202321)

    The most critical moment in the linked video is not the reporter (?) being killed, but the passerby in a van with his children inside that is attempting to rescue wounded people lying on the ground. He and his children are killed for his efforts. This is a war crime.

  • Re:Skynet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XeLiTuS (2787743) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:07AM (#42203703)
    Note to self... stay out of a warzone if you don't want to be injured or killed.
  • Re:Skynet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crosshair84 (2598247) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:50AM (#42204171)
    Or perhaps you could just stop bombing good Samaritans and rescue workers. Stop blaming the victim for doing what any non-sociopath would do, help a fellow human in need.
  • Re:Skynet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:44PM (#42211923)

    bombing good Samaritans and rescue workers

    Which is your way of saying ... what? Stop using force to attempt to shut down insurgents who deliberately kill women and children because they are women and children? Or are you simply arguing for absolute perfection in every military action, ever? Oh, well, then. That's easy.

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