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MIT Robotic Plane Flies Itself In Tight Spaces (VIDEO)

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Despite a two-meter wingspan, the plane was able to navigate itself through a parking lot that was only 2.5 meters from floor to ceiling.
Despite a two-meter wingspan, the plane was able to navigate itself through a parking lot that was only 2.5 meters from floor to ceiling.

This robot is fly.

MIT's Robust Robotics program is showing off its nifty new robotic plane that navigates itself. Using only on-board sensors, the plane requires neither pilot, remote control nor GPS. A basic Intel Atom processor powers the little self-guided plane that could.

MIT team leaders are hoping to eventually trick out the plane with independent mapping, according to Dvice.com. Then it could truly be an autonomous 'bot that could fly into duty for military or rescue ops, the site explained.

While the technology has been used with slower craft such as helicopters, what separates this flying machine is its ability to maneuver with speed in tight spaces, according to the video (above).

“The reason that we switched from the helicopter to the fixed-wing vehicle is that the fixed-wing vehicle is a more complicated and interesting problem, but also that it has a much longer flight time,” Nick Roy, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and head of the Robust Robotics Group, told MIT News. “The helicopter is working very hard just to keep itself in the air, and we wanted to be able to fly longer distances for longer periods of time.”

WATCH the plane buzz through an indoor parking lot with all the assuredness of a winged Mini. You can get all the technical deets as you go along for the ride.

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