An auto-stabilisation system for unmanned helicopters will allow control from the ground using a PC, according to its makers. It could also be used in manned helicopters as "a pilot assistance instrument", and could be adapted for rotorcraft of any size.

Israel-based Steadicopter is proposing its Fully Autonomous Robotic Helicopter as an unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The system of sensors, software and hardware is intended to stabilise an unmanned helicopter automatically, and provide situational awareness for a remote user.

The company has flight tested the system on a model helicopter, and is eyeing platforms of 5-20kg (11-44lb) with applications in agriculture, media and surveillance. A commercial system will be available by mid-2003 at a projected price of $150,000.

Source: Flight International