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Autonomous

— Space

Goodbye ground control: Nanosatellites achieve first autonomous orbital maneuver

One of the advantages of bread loaf-sized nanosatellites is their potential to act as a swarm that can equal the power of a single larger satellite, but with more flexibility and at lower cost. Deep Space Industries has taken a major step in that direction in a successful test involving two autonomous Canadian satellites, which carried out the first orbital maneuver without human supervision.

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— Military

Unmanned helicopter and ground vehicle team up to explore dangerous terrain

Autonomous aircraft and autonomous ground vehicles can eliminate much of the danger for military personnel working in hazardous areas. But what if they could combine their capabilities to even further remove soldiers from harm's way? Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) together with Sikorsky Aircraft have deployed an autonomous helicopter and all-terrain robot to demonstrate what might be possible when advanced, unmanned vehicles join forces.

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— Drones

FAROS drone climbs the walls to find fires

Fires in high-rises can be particularly deadly. This is partially because of the buildings' "chimney" effect, along with the fact that it's just plain difficult for firefighters to reach the flames. With that in mind, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created the flying, wall-climbing, fire-resistant FAROS quadcopter. It's designed to ascertain the source of a fire as soon as possible, along with the locations of people trapped within the building.

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— Aircraft

AirMule VTOL flies untethered for the first time

Helicopters may be able to take off and land from places that fixed-wing airplanes can't, but those whirling exposed rotor blades still keep them out of tight spaces. That's why Israel's Tactical Robotics Ltd created the AirMule. It's an unmanned VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, which features lift rotors that are safely enclosed inside its body. Although we first heard about it two years ago, the prototype just recently made its first untethered test flight.

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— Drones

Fleye could be your personal autonomous robot drone

The Fleye is claimed to be the world's safest drone. It may look like a flying soccer ball, but its shape is designed to keep all the moving parts well out of harm's way and make it a bit more resistant to crash damage. It's not just design that sets the Fleye apart though. A dual core Linux brain with an open SDK (software development kit) and API (application program interface) make this machine less like a conventional drone and more like a flying development platform.

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— Automotive

Volvo explores autonomy with Concept 26

The autonomous vehicle continues to materialize. Volvo joins the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Chevy, Italdesign and Rinspeed in showing a home-cooked vision of the autonomous car of the future. The Swedish automaker drives right to the heart of the matter, skipping the body shell completely and focusing solely on an interior that transforms to allow the driver-passenger to better manage commuting time.

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— Automotive

Euro NCAP ratings to take autonomous pedestrian detection systems into account

The European safety organization Euro NCAP has announced the introduction of a new test to ascertain the effectiveness of pedestrian detection and autonomous braking and collision avoidance systems from different manufacturers. The new Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Pedestrian tests are based on real-world scenarios and utilize new life-like, moving dummies in a controlled environment.

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— Robotics

Tally robot autonomously takes stock of store shelves

If you turn up to your local supermarket one day to find all of your favourite items fully stocked, you may have the slender robot sauntering up and down the aisles to thank. Announced today, Tally is an autonomous retail robot that rolls around stores making sure shelves are correctly stocked, promising to cut labor costs and lost revenue in the process.

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